Baltimore prosecutors officially dropped the charges against Adnan Syed, the man previously convicted of murdering his high school girlfriend, The Baltimore Sun reports. Syed's story gained public attention after the podcast "Serial" called his conviction into question.
Syed was initially convicted of the murder of Hae Min Lee in 1999. A Baltimore judge overturned the conviction last month after the state attorney's office lost faith in the original verdict. They decided to overturn his conviction after his legal team discovered evidence of two possible alternative suspects that went unreported. State Attorney Marilyn Mosby was then given a month to decide whether to dismiss his case or grant him a new trial in light of the new evidence.
Mosby was reportedly waiting for last-minute DNA testing on evidence collected when the murder occurred, per the Sun. In a news release after the Tuesday court decision, the public defender's office revealed that the DNA test results excluded Syed as a suspect.
"Finally, Adnan Syed is able to live as a free man," Syed's attorney, Erica Suter, said in a statement. "The DNA results confirmed what we have already known and what underlies all of the current proceedings: that Adnan is innocent and lost 23 years of his life serving time for a crime he did not commit."
Mosby has said that she would be prepared to certify Syed's innocence if the DNA results exonerated him, which would make him eligible for up to $2.2 million in compensation for the years he was falsely incarcerated per the Walter Lomax Act, the Sun reports.