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Freedom Tastes Good: Adnan Syed munches on homemade leftovers after 23 years in prison as judge tosses murder conviction

Adnan Syed was spotted eating cold dumplings from the refrigerator as his family told him more supplies were on the way
Adnan Syed enjoys leftovers from the home refrigerator for the first time in 23 years (screenshot/@rabiasquared/Twitter)
Adnan Syed enjoys leftovers from the home refrigerator for the first time in 23 years (screenshot/@rabiasquared/Twitter)

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: During his first night of freedom, Adnan Syed, whose legal drama gave rise to the popular podcast, ‘Serial’, was seen for the first time in 23 years picking through leftovers in a relative's refrigerator.

After being found guilty in 2000 of murdering Hae Min Lee by strangulation and interring her body in a shallow grave in Baltimore's Leakin Park, Syed, 41, was already serving a life sentence plus 40 years. Syed and Lee were high school classmates who were in a relationship. He was prosecuted as an adult even though he was only 17 at the time of the murder and has always insisted on being innocent.


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Syed was spotted on Monday, September 19, looking through the food in the home refrigerator while dressed properly in a white shirt and blue tie, the same outfit he had on when he got out of jail earlier. He was more than happy to eat some cold dumplings out of a plastic box and hold a container of samosas as his thrilled family informed him new supplies were on the way—clearly a significant improvement over the meals he had been consuming in prison which can be seen in video footage from Twitter. “These are samosas', one family member states, before another excitedly states 'We've got fresh ones coming!” Then, Syed asks what the handmade leftovers are as he opens a second package. “These are dumplings we got yesterday!” he is told, before taking a bite, in his first taste of homemade food since he was a teenager. After his conviction for the 1999 murder of Lee was overturned after more than 20 years in prison, Syed's attorney stated that her client "couldn't believe it's real." 

The judge mandated a fresh trial after a lengthy hearing in Baltimore's Circuit Court. Syed, in contrast, has been granted parole for house detention. The ruling was made "in the interest of justice," according to Circuit Court Judge Melissa M Phinn. The courtroom broke out in cheers when the judge's decision was read aloud. A new trial on the matter will now be held for Syed, while the trial date has not yet been determined as of now. According to Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Banner, once the judge's decision was announced, Syed sat at the trial table smiling with his lawyer, Erica Suter, who got emotional with tears in her eyes. More cheering greeted him as he exited Baltimore's Circuit Court. He made no public statement as he made his way to freedom while carrying a blue Georgetown University folder, wearing a shirt, tie and knit cap.

Marilyn Mosby, the state's attorney, informed the media that Syed's status as an "innocent man" had not yet been proven. She did stress once more that Syed needs to face a second trial with competent counsel, as reported by Daily Mail. Mosby did not go so far as to suggest that the charges against Syed will be dropped by her office. In accordance with Maryland law, her office has 30 days to re-charge him with killing Hae Min Lee.