A judge on Monday ordered the release of Adnan Syed, a Baltimore man serving a life sentence for a 1999 murder he claims he did not commit after overturning his conviction. His case was chronicled in the popular podcast “Serial”.
Syed, 42, was released from house arrest after serving more than 20 years in prison. Baltimore Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn said she overturned his conviction “in the interest of justice,” according to a Baltimore Sun reporter. Lee Sanderlin. Prosecutors have not yet said whether they will seek a new trial or drop charges against him.
Phinn’s decision to overturn his conviction follows a request from prosecutors last week. Syed was convicted of the murder of his former high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, whose body was found buried in a Baltimore park. Prosecutors called a lack of confidence “in the integrity of the sentencing” after completing a year-long investigation with Syed’s lawyers.
Prosecutors said they did not allege that Syed is innocent, but that they have found new evidence that may link two previously known suspects to Lee’s murder. Evidence about those individuals, who were not identified, was withheld from Syed’s lawyers during his trial, according to a motion filed Wednesday by the Baltimore Attorney General’s Office.
His criminal case caught the attention of millions in 2014 when he became the focus of a popular podcast that raised doubts about the evidence presented against him, including cell phone data.
Serial podcast host Sarah Koenig was in court at the time of Syed’s release. A new episode of the program will be released on Tuesday morning, the podcast announced on Twitter.
This is a story in development. Come back for updates.