Adnan Syed hearings to continue Monday

Posted at 11:30 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 23:30:01-05

Adnan Syed's push for a new trial will extend in to next week.

The case was highlighted in the "Serial" podcast back in 2014; Syed has been in custody since his arrest back in 1999 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.

He has maintained his innocence the entire time..

Friday afternoon, a tough cross-examination of the state's cell-tower expert, FBI agent Chad Fitzgerald, was delayed by numerous objections by Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah -- and conferences between attorneys for both sides and Judge Martin Welch.

The state is trying to fight off the defense's argument -- that cell-tower evidence which placed Syed in Leakin Park on the night of Hae Min Lee's murder -- should not have been admitted.

But the day ended with Fitzgerald still on the stand; he'll be back next week.

The defense's other argument centers on Asia McClain -- who testified that she saw Adnan Syed in the Woodlawn Public Library, at the same time prosecutors claim he was killing Lee.

The state has tried to downplay McClain's potential importance, but it's a difficult argument to make.

“There is a duty of every lawyer to investigate and to interview witnesses. And there was no investigation conducted as to Ms. Mcclain,” said Doug Colbert, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Notes found in the papers of Syed's trial attorney, Christina Gutierrez, indicate that she knew about Asia McClain's potential as an alibi witness, but never contacted her.

The state has tried to argue that Gutierrez must have chosen not to contact her, as part of her trial strategy.

Friday Adnan Syed's defense team called Baltimore defense attorney Dave Irwin as an expert on defending clients.

He’d watched Asia McClain's testimony this week, and he said she was "powerfully credible.”

And Irwin said had McClain been called to testify at Adnan Syed's trial back in 2000, “She would have been material, and changed the ballgame's result.  It's obvious to me."

“What Dave Irwin testified is that after listening to Asia McClain as a witness he was left with no question that has a jury hears her testimony they would have reached a different result,” Colbert said.

Syed's post-conviction hearing will continue Monday morning at 9:30.