The Latest: Alibi witness in ‘Serial’ case ends testimony
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on a hearing for a convicted murderer seeking a new trial in a case that was examined in the podcast “Serial.” (all times local):
The second day of testimony has wrapped up in hearings for the convicted killer who is asking a judge for a new trial on the grounds that he received ineffective counsel in case that was profiled on the podcast “Serial.”
A fourth defense witness took the stand Thursday, following two days of testimony from an alibi witness who told the court she was with Adnan Syed, who is serving a life sentence after he was convicted in 2000 of killing his high school girlfriend Hae Min Lee, at the same time Lee was killed.
Syed’s attorneys have also said jurors in Syed’s trial did not get to see a cover letter concerning cell tower data linking him to Lee’s burial site. The letter warned that the data on incoming calls was unreliable.
The last witness of the day, Gerald Grant, was a cell site analyst who told the court that the warning is crucial in order to accurately read the data.
An alibi witness who said she was with the convicted killer at the center of the “Serial” podcast during the time period prosecutors say his high school girlfriend was killed has wrapped up her testimony after two days on the stand.
Asia McClain, now called Asia Chapman, has said she saw Adnan Syed at a library on the day his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, went missing in 1999. Syed was convicted in 2000 of killing Lee and sentenced to life in prison.
A Maryland prosecutor on Thursday cross-examined Chapman and challenged her account.
Syed is asking a judge to grant him a new trial because his original attorney failed to reach out to Chapman for her testimony.
The hearing began Wednesday and is scheduled to run through Friday.
A Maryland prosecutor is suggesting that an alibi witness is trying to help free the convicted killer at the center of the “Serial” podcast rather than simply aid in the investigation.
Prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah on Thursday focused on a letter that alibi witness Asia McClain, now known as Chapman, sent to Adnan Syed days after his 1999 arrest on charges of killing his high school girlfriend Hae Min Lee.
During cross-examination, Vignarajah asked repeatedly whether she’d written the letter weeks after she says she did, and how she came to know the details about the case she mentions in the correspondence. Vignarajah also questioned her about a claim by a friend of Syed who told police Syed had sent Chapman a letter from jail and told her to type it.
Chapman is testifying for the second day in a hearing to determine whether Syed deserves a new trial. His attorneys have argued that he received ineffective counsel.
A Maryland prosecutor is trying to cast doubt on the testimony of an alibi witness who says she saw a convicted killer at a library about the same time prosecutors say he was killing his girlfriend in a case that was profiled in the “Serial” podcast.
Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah questioned Asia McClain, now known as Asia Chapman, on Thursday about her testimony that she spotted Adnan Syed.
Syed was convicted of murdering Hae Min Lee in 2000 and sentenced to life in prison.
Chapman has taken the stand for the second day of a three-day hearing to determine whether Syed will be granted a new trial.
As a convicted murderer seeks a new trial in a case spotlighted by the popular “Serial” podcast, an alibi witness who was never before called to testify has cast doubts about testimony from the case’s former prosecutor.
Asia McClain, now known as Asia Chapman, testified Wednesday during a hearing for Adnan Syed, who was convicted of murdering Hae Min Lee and is serving a life sentence. He’s seeking a new trial, claiming that his first attorney was ineffective.
McClain has said she saw Syed at a library during the time when prosecutors allege he was killing his high school girlfriend. But she testified Wednesday that prosecutor Kevin Urick convinced her that Syed was “100 percent guilty” and he later gave deceptive testimony about their conversation.
McClain’s testimony continues Thursday.