All Charges Dropped Against Adnan Syed

There will be no retrial for 'Serial' star, who served 23 years for ex Hae Min Lee's murder
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2022 10:45 AM CDT
No Retrial for Adnan Syed
Adnan Syed, center, the man whose legal saga spawned the hit podcast "Serial," exits the Cummings Courthouse on Sept. 19 after a Baltimore judge overturned his conviction for the 1999 murder of high school student Hae Min Lee.   (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP, File)

After Adnan Syed's murder conviction was overturned, Sarah Koenig, the one-time host of the Serial podcast that made his case famous, noted the chance of him facing a retrial was slim. Now it's zero, according to TMZ. The Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office on Tuesday dropped all charges against the 41-year-old, who served 23 years in prison for the murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee before his release last month. The hearing in reception court "was not docketed in online court records," per the Baltimore Sun, though Syed attorney Erica Suter confirmed the charges were dropped.

State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby previously said her decision on whether or not to retry Syed would be based on pending DNA test results. "If that DNA comes back inconclusive, I will certify that he's innocent," Mosby told WJZ. "If it comes back to two alternative suspects, I will certify that he's innocent. If it comes back to Adnan Syed, the state is still in a position to proceed upon the prosecution." Those DNA results have come back and "excluded him from DNA evidence recovered in the case," the state's Office of the Public Defender said in a release, per the Maryland Daily Record.

In vacating Syed's 2000 conviction, prosecutors said they'd become aware of two alternative suspects not disclosed to Syed's lawyers. They said one suspect threatened to kill Lee and one is a serial rapist; one suspect also had a connection to the property on which Lee's car was ditched. Prosecutors are now zeroing in on one suspect in particular, sources tell WJZ. The latest development should mean Syed, who's been on home detention with GPS monitoring, will be able to move freely for the first time in the 21st century. It's unclear what it will mean for the appeal launched by Lee's family. (More Adnan Syed stories.)

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