Judge Orders Adnan Syed Freed After Prosecutors’ Request


A judge on Monday ordered the release of Adnan Syed, a Baltimore man serving a life sentence for a 1999 murder he says he did not commit. His conviction was chronicled in the popular podcast “Serial.”

Baltimore Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn’s decision to overturn his conviction follows a request from prosecutors last week to vacate Syed’s conviction in the killing of his former high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Prosecutors cited a lack of confidence “in the integrity of the conviction” after completing a yearlong investigation with Syed’s attorneys.

Prosecutors said they weren’t asserting that Syed is innocent, but that they have uncovered new evidence that potentially links two previously known suspects with Lee’s murder. Evidence about those individuals, who were not identified, had been withheld from Syed’s defense attorneys during his trial, according to a motion filed by the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office Wednesday.

Syed, now 42, has served more than 20 years in prison for the strangulation death of Lee, whose body was found buried in a Baltimore park.

His criminal case captured the attention of millions in 2014 when he became the focus of a hit podcast that raised doubts about the evidence presented against him, including cellphone tower data.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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