US Man Convicted Of Murder Set Free After Podcast Draws Global Attention. Prosecutors in the US city of Baltimore dismissed charges on Tuesday against a man who spent more than two decades in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, a case that received international attention because to the blockbuster podcast “Serial.”
Adnan Syed, 41, has been serving a life sentence for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee when the state’s attorney dropped murder charges against him, according to the Maryland public defender’s office.
US Man Convicted Of Murder Set Free After Podcast Draws Global Attention. “We can confirm that the charges have been withdrawn,” the public defender’s office’s Tammy Jarnagin told AFP in an email.
Last month, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn overturned Syed’s conviction at the request of Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and ordered his immediate release.
Mosby had asked the court to vacate Syed’s conviction while a further investigation into Lee’s murder was carried out.
“The state has lost confidence in the integrity of his conviction,” assistant state’s attorney Becky Feldman said. “We need to make sure we hold the correct person accountable.”
Feldman told the judge the decision was prompted by the discovery of new information regarding two alternative suspects and the unreliability of cell phone data used to convict Syed.
The state had also been awaiting the results of new DNA tests on Lee’s clothing before deciding whether to drop all charges or organize a new trial.
Prosecutors had 30 days to either bring new charges against Syed or dismiss the case.
Lee’s body was found buried in February 1999 in a shallow grave in the woods of Baltimore, Maryland. The 18-year-old had been strangled.
Syed has steadfastly maintained his innocence but his multiple appeals had been denied, including by the US Supreme Court which declined in 2019 to hear his case.
Syed’s case earned global attention when it was taken up in 2014 by “Serial,” a weekly podcast that saw a journalist revisit his conviction and cast doubt on his guilt.
It has also been the subject of a four-part documentary on the HBO channel called “The Case Against Adnan Syed.”
The “Serial” podcast — a mix of investigative journalism, first-person narrative and dramatic storytelling — focused its first season on Syed’s story in 12 nail-biting episodes.
Both Syed and Lee were high school honor students and children from immigrant families — he Pakistani, she South Korean — who had concealed their relationship from their conservative parents.
Prosecutors said during the trial that Syed was a scorned lover who felt humiliated after Lee broke up with him.