Prosecutors dropped charges against Adnan Syed, subject

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Prosecutors dropped the charges Adnan Syed on Tuesday in the 1999 killing Hae Min Lee, a case that was chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial.” Emily Witty, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore City Attorney’s Office, said in an email that her office has dropped its case against Syed and will release more details about its decision later Tuesday.

Laura Nirider, co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, who accompanied Syed when he left prison last month, he tweeted: “Breaking news: After the latest round of DNA testing returned results that, like previous rounds of testing, ruled Adnan Syed out, he has now been formally exonerated!”

Erica Suter, the attorney who represented Syed in court during his release bid, confirmed the allegations were dropped by CBS News.

“Finally, Adnan Syed is able to live as a free man,” Suter said. “The DNA results confirmed what we already knew and what underlies all current proceedings: that Adnan is innocent and has lost 23 years of his life serving a sentence for a crime he did not commit.”

A Baltimore judge last month overturned Syed’s murder conviction and ordered his release from prison, where the 41-year-old had spent more than two decades. Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn also gave prosecutors 30 days to decide whether to retry Syed or drop the charges.

Phinn ruled that the state breached its legal duty to share evidence that could have bolstered Syed’s defense. Syed was placed under house arrest with GPS location tracking.

Syed has maintained his innocence for decades and captured the attention of millions in 2014 when the debut season of “Serial” focused on the case and cast doubt on some of the evidence, including data from cell phone transmitters.

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby told CBS Baltimore in September that she was waiting for DNA tests before deciding whether to retry Syed.

“If that DNA comes back inconclusive, I will confirm that he is innocent,” Mosby told the station. “If it comes back to the two alternative suspects, I will confirm that he is not guilty. If it comes back to Adnan Syed, the state is still able to continue the prosecution.”

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