Adnan Syed, subject of ‘Serial’ podcast, is getting a new trial

BALTIMORE — A key alibi witness for Adnan Syed, the Maryland man whose 2000 murder conviction was the subject of the first season of the true-crime podcast, "Serial," testified on his behalf for the first time on Wednesday, telling a judge that she'd seen him at a public library on the day of the killing. Asia Chapman, a high school classmate, appeared as a witness in Syed's post-conviction hearing in Baltimore City Circuit Court, where his lawyers argued that he deserved a new trial because his original defense team failed him. Syed seemed "completely normal" when they ran into each other at the Woodlawn library branch on Jan. 13, 1999, Chapman said. She heard later that he'd been arrested for strangling his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, that same day in a fit of jealous rage after she began dating someone new. Chapman realized she may have worthwhile evidence. But it was never used. PlayConvicted murderer who gained fame in 'Serial' podcast wins right to appeal case Facebook Twitter Google Plus Embed Convicted murderer who gained fame in 'Serial' podcast wins right to appeal case 2:32 On the stand, Chapman, 34, repeated the story she told in 2014's "Serial," when she went by her maiden name, McClain. She is now married with two children, and pregnant with a third, and lives in Washington. She laughed nervously as she testified. While Chapman spoke, Syed, 34 and serving a life sentence, sat still in the courtroom in a blue-gray jumpsuit, chains around his ankles. His family sat behind him, on the right side of the courtroom. Chapman's testimony came on the first day of a hearing to determine whether Syed will be given a new trial based on evidence that wasn't previously presented. Testimony is expected to continue through Friday. Meanwhile, Lee's family released a statement Wednesday saying she remained "the true victim" and that the reopened case was forcing them to "relive a nightmare." They said they believed in Syed's guilt and "look forward to bringing this chapter to an end so we can celebrate the memory of Hae instead of celebrating the man who killed her." Image: Adnan Syed enters Courthouse East in Baltimore prior to a hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 in Baltimore. Barbara Haddock Taylor / The Baltimore Sun via AP

BALTIMORE (WCMH/AP)–Adnan Syed, who is currently serving a life sentence for murder, has been granted a new trial.

Syed was convicted of murder in 2000 of killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in Baltimore. In 2014, the “Serial” podcast examined the case, questioning whether Syed got a fair trial and drawing millions of listeners.

Lee was strangled and her body dumped in a nearby park in 1999.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin Welch ruled Thursday that Syed deserves another trial because his attorney failed to cross-examine a cell tower expert about the reliability of data that placed Syed’s cellphone near the burial site.

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