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Judge grants 'Serial' subject new trial

P. Kenneth Burns

After spending 16 years in prison, a man convicted of murder who was at the center of the podcast "Serial" has won a new trial in Baltimore.

Adnan Syed was convicted of murdering his former high school girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999 and burying her in a park. He was sentenced to life in prison.

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.

Rabia Chaudry, a family friend and staunch supporter of Adnan Syed, said she is "overwhelmed and weepy" after learning that a judge has ordered a new trial for Syed.

She added although she's thrilled Syed will get a new trial, she finds it "surreal" that the ruling she's been hoping for finally arrived.

Chaudry brought his case to the attention of Sarah Koenig, the host of the podcast. She has written a book about Syed that is scheduled to be published in September.

Syed's case was widely publicized by "Serial." The podcast attracted millions of listeners by showcasing little-known evidence and raising questions about Syed's guilt.