By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Baltimore’s top prosecutor on Thursday announced additional forensic testing will be made in the case of a man whose conviction in the murder of his high school sweetheart became the subject of the popular podcast “Serial.”

Adnan Syed was convicted in 2000 of killing Hae Min Lee and burying her body in a shallow grave in a Baltimore park. He was 17 at the time.

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Syed’s story was widely publicized in the 2014 “Serial” podcast, which cast doubt on his guilt and inspired armchair investigators to unearth new information.

The show attracted millions of listeners and shattered records for the number of times a podcast has been streamed or downloaded.

A judge ordered a new trial for Syed in 2016. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld the ruling after prosecutors appealed. Syed has been behind bars since his arrest in February 1999.

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Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Syed’s defense counsel approached their Sentencing Review Unit after the Juvenile Restoration Act passed in April 2021. The act allows those convicted of crimes as juveniles to request a modification of sentence after they have served at least 20 years in prison.

“In the process of reviewing this case for a possible resentencing, it became clear that additional forensic testing – which was not available at the time of the original investigation and trial in this case – would be an appropriate avenue to pursue,” Mosby said in a statement.

Syed’s attorney, Erica Suter, said the testing could be what is needed to prove the man’s innocence.

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“Mr. Syed has been waiting more than two decades for the opportunity to exonerate himself, not just in the court of public opinion, but in the court of law,” Suter said to WJZ. “We applaud the State’s Attorney for recognizing the serious concerns in his case, after several months of deliberation and review, and agreeing that DNA testing is needed. We are eager to finally have access to the forensic tools to establish Mr. Syed’s innocence.”

CBS Baltimore Staff