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Testimony concludes in Syed hearing

Posted: 8:00 AM, Feb 08, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-08 23:31:06-05
Prosecution witnesses next up in Syed hearing
Prosecution witnesses next up in Syed hearing
Prosecution witnesses next up in Syed hearing
Testimony concluded Monday in the post-conviction hearing for Adnan Syed, the man whose murder case was profiled in the popular "Serial" podcast. 
 
The hearing at times turned testy, as Maryland prosecutors called more witnesses to the stand. 
 
Syed, now 35, is asking a judge for a new trial, arguing that his original attorney was ineffective because she failed to call an alibi witness, and that prosecutors presented cell tower data that misled jurors. 
 
 
Syed was convicted of killing his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 2000 and sentenced to life in prison.
 
A judge heard last week from the alibi witness who said she was with Syed at a library during the time prosecutors say Lee was killed. 
 
C. Justin Brown, Syed's attorney, expressed irritation that Maryland Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah called a weekend press conference, during which a statement from Lee's family was read and alibi witness Asia McClain's credibility was questioned. 
 
"It's ludicrous," Brown said. 
 
Vignarajah called to the stand FBI agent Chad Fitzgerald, who testified on the reliability of cellphone records.
 
During cross-examination, Brown and Fitzgerald got into a heated exchange, with Fitzgerald accusing the defense team of altering a document to confuse him. 
 
"It's offensive that you handed me manipulated evidence trying to undermine my work or my team," Fitzgerald said. 
 
Brown said the document came from the files of Cristina Gutierrez, Syed's first lawyer who died in 2004.  
 
During Syed's original trial in 2000, an expert from AT&T placed Syed's cellphone at Leakin Park, where Lee's body was found.
 
 
 
Also on the stand was defense attorney Dave Irwin, a defense witness who was cross-examined by the state Monday. 
 
Gutierrez had a duty to investigate potential alibi witness McClain, Irwin said. 
 
"Without information there can be no strategy," he said. 
 
A security guard who worked at the Woodlawn Public Library, where McClain says she saw Syed the day of the murder, also took the stand.
 
The guard, who was kept anonymous in court, testified he doesn't remember seeing either Syed or McClain on Jan. 13, 1999, or any other day.
 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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