• 1440 Daily Digest

Syed Charges Dropped

Baltimore prosecutors formally dropped charges yesterday against Adnan Syed, the subject of 2014's "Serial" podcast, a week shy of the prosecution's 30-day deadline to seek a new trial. Officials said the latest DNA tests of crime scene evidence excluded Syed as a suspect.

Syed, 41, had been serving a life sentence for the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee when a circuit court judge vacated his conviction last month (see timeline). During a yearlong investigation in cooperation with Syed's lawyer, prosecutors had found unreliable cell tower data in addition to two alternative suspects in the case. Syed was released last month to home detention while waiting for a decision on a potential new trial.

Because of his wrongful conviction, Syed is likely to receive over $2M under a Maryland law passed in 2021 to compensate those jailed in error (see bill). An appeal of his vacated conviction, made by the victim's family, is pending.

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