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'Serial' Case: Hearing Resumes For Adnan Syed

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Millions have heard the allegations of a botched defense in the "Serial" podcast about Adnan Syed's murder conviction.

Alex DeMetrick reports a Baltimore judge is now hearing it for himself.

The podcast "Serial" hooked millions with its investigation of the murder conviction of Adnan Syed. Sixteen years ago, he was found guilty of the first degree murder of his ex-high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.

Syed is back in Baltimore court hoping to win a re-trial based on what the podcast reported. Monday, it was about a prosecution expert in 1999, who said Syed received calls placing him at Lee's burial site.

In a new affidavit, that witness changed his mind.

"The disclaimer that incoming calls are not reliable for their location," said University of Maryland professor Doug Colbert.

For the hearing, the prosecution brought in an FBI expert, who largely backed the reliability of the 1999 data in a testy exchange with the defense.

"What we have here is upsetness, which was quite visible, is something the defense wil likely use," Colbert said.

From cell phones, the hearing returned to the main defense strategy: that Syed's original lawyer did not use alibi witness Asia McClain, denying him a competent defense.

"If she would have testified, Adnan never would have gone to prison," said his brother, Yusuf Syed.

Syed's family is hoping the judge will order a re-trial, even as the murder victim's family relives the killing.

In a statement, the Lee family says, "It remains hard to see so many run to defend someone who committed a horrible crime, who destroyed our family, who refuses to take responsibility, when so few are willing to speak up for Hae."

The hearing covers only a narrow range of issues and does not include all of the evidence brought against Syed in his original trial.

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