Witness Jay Wilds declines ‘Serial’ podcast interview, now reacts to his portrayal

Posted at 3:36 PM, Dec 30, 2014

(CNN) — “Serial” may have ended this month, but the story seems far from finished.

The popular podcast details an investigation into the 15-year-old murder of Hae Min Lee. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted.

A key witness in the case against Syed was Jay Wilds, who stirred debate this week in an interview with The Intercept.

He says he was unfairly portrayed in the podcast, and runs though his recollections of what happened.

Wilds was asked what he knew about Syed’s relationship with his ex.

“I think that was his first real girlfriend, and I think that’s why his reaction was so strong. I don’t think it meant that much to her. I don’t think that’s wrong, it’s high school, you know. She’s a high school girl, ‘Oh, he’s cute, Oh, whatever’ — things fizzle out. I think there was another dude or something, or whatever,” he told The Intercept.

Wilds also remembered the first time he says Syed talked to him about hurting her.

“It was at least a week before she died, when he found out she was either cheating on him or leaving him. We were in the car, we were riding, smoking. He just started opening up. It’s in the evening after school, we never hung out in the morning. Just normal conversation like, ‘I think she’s f****** around. I’m gonna kill that b****, man.’

“Nothing real pointed or anything, not like, ‘I know his name,’ or ‘I caught her.’ But I just thought he was just shooting off like everyone else shoots off when they’re mad at their girlfriend. He never said anything like, ‘Hey, what gauge gun should I use?’ or ‘How many minutes am I supposed to hold somebody under the water for?’ or, ‘Is there a statute of limitation on murder?’ I thought he was just blowing off steam and bulls*******.”

Some of what Wilds says in the interview contradicts what he told told police — a point he also addressed.

“They had to chase me around before they could corner me to talk to me, and there came a point where I was just sick of talking to them. And they wouldn’t stop interviewing me or questioning me,” he said. “Once the police made it clear that my drug dealing wasn’t gonna affect the outcome of what was going on, I became a little bit more transparent.”

Rabia Chaudry, a civil rights attorney — who grew up near Syed and tipped the host of “Serial” off to the story — believes Wilds is lying. She pointed to several apparent discrepancies on Twitter.

“I think Jay’s next move should be a live televised polygraph, preferably administered by Geraldo #FreeAdnan #Serial #TheMachineWillDie,” Chaudry wrote.

Sarah Koenig, the host of “Serial,” has not yet commented on Wilds’ interview. He reportedly declined to be formally interviewed for her broadcast.