Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby said she will drop charges against Adnan Syed and not seek a new trial against him in the 1999 murder of his former girlfriend, pending the results of new TSWT tests currently underway. are underway.
“If that TSWT is inconclusive, I will confirm that he is innocent,” Mosby told WJZ News in Baltimore on Tuesday. “If it comes back to two alternate suspects, I’ll confirm he’s innocent. If it comes back to Adnan Syed, the state is still in a position to continue the persecution.”
Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn gave Mosby’s office Monday 30 days to decide whether to file a new charge against Syed or drop the case.
The 41-year-old was released from prison on Monday after prosecutors claimed they lost faith in his 2000 conviction for which he served more than 20 years and which was covered by the popular podcast “Serial” in 2014. Syed , who was sentenced to life in prison for Lee’s death by strangulation as a minor, has maintained his innocence.
Phinn had agreed in March to run new TSWT tests in Lee’s murder, at the request of prosecutors and Syed’s defense team. The tests conducted by a California crime lab use TSWT technology not available during Syed’s murder trial.
Mosby’s office, in a motion filed last week, said they were not alleging that Syed is innocent, but that they had found new evidence that may link two other suspects to the murder of Hae Min Lee. These two individuals, not publicly identified, were already known in connection with the case.
Becky Feldman, a prosecutor in Mosby’s office, said they found new evidence in a file during a recent year-long investigation into Lee’s murder. Handwritten notes from one of her predecessors identified the two suspects and allegations that one of them at one point threatened to kill Lee. This information has not been shared with Syed’s defense team.
“I understand how difficult this is, but we need to make sure we hold the right person accountable,” Feldman told the judge on Monday.
Lee’s family has objected to the judge’s decision to release Syed.
Her brother, Young Lee, told the court on Monday that he felt “betrayed” because he believed the right person had been brought to justice.
“This is not a podcast for me,” he said. “It’s real life that will never end; it’s been more than 20 years. It’s a nightmare. … This is destroying us,” he said.
An attorney for Lee’s family, Steve Kelly, also rejected Mosby’s motion, saying it surprised the family and was not reasonably explained to them.
“Whether Adnan is guilty or not doesn’t matter,” Kelly told TSWT. “What happened yesterday… they were completely barred from the trial. This is a pre-established agreement between the prosecutor, the defense and even the court.”