DNA clears Adnan Syed, MLB postseason rolls on: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: DNA evidence clears Adnan Syed in ‘Serial’ case

The state has dropped its case. Plus, the Justice Department urges the Supreme Court to reject Donald Trump’s documents request, President Joe Biden says a 2023 recession is possible but not likely, closing arguments are made in the death penalty trial of the Parkland school shooter and the MLB postseason rolls on.

Podcasts:True crime, in-depth interviews and more USA TODAY podcasts right here.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Wednesday, the 12th of October, 2022. Today, DNA evidence clears Adnan Syed, plus the possibility of recession and more.

Here are some of the top headlines: 

  1. Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has lost all external power for the second time in five days. The power is needed for extremely important safety systems.
  2. Former Los Angeles Angels Director of Communications, Eric Kay, has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison. He was convicted earlier this year of distributing fentanyl waste opioids that led to pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ overdose death in 2019.
  3. And Angela Lansbury has died. The star of TV’s Murder, She Wrote was 96.

Prosecutors said yesterday that DNA evidence suggest Adnan Syed is innocent and murder charges against him have been dropped. He and his case became the focus of the hit podcast Serial in 2014. He was previously convicted in the 1999 killing of Hae Min Le. He then spent the next two decades behind bars before the state’s attorney’s office in Baltimore asked a judge to vacate the conviction last month. At the time, the office said Syed could still be retried for the murder, but the state has now dropped its case. State’s Attorney for the city of Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby.

Marilyn Mosby:

This morning I instructed my office to dismiss the criminal case against Adnan Syed, following the completion of a second round of touch DNA testing of items that were never tested before. Those items include skirt, panty hose, shoes, and jacket of Ms. Hae Min Lee. My office received notice of these results on Friday. This morning, I personally reached out to the victim’s attorney to inform Ms. Lee’s family of the DNA findings and my decision to dismiss the case. We attempted to wait for confirmation of notice before releasing anything publicly, but we still at this point have not heard back from that attorney. Equally heartbreaking is the pain and the sacrifice and the trauma that has been imposed, not just on that family, but Adnan and his family.

Taylor Wilson:

Syed has since been released from home monitoring. He was originally convicted when he was 18 years old and was first charged when 17. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years in the strangling death of Lee who was 18 at the time. Syed has maintained his innocence since he was first charged. Statements from Lee’s family’s attorney said the state’s attorney’s office had not given the family any clarity on why the state changed its position so quickly after 20 years, though Mosby said there is an active pending investigation into her death. A reinvestigation of the case revealed evidence of the possible involvement of two other suspects.

The Justice Department urged the Supreme Court yesterday to not grant an emergency request from Donald Trump to review an appeals court decision dealing with the classified documents taken from his Mar-a-Lago estate. Trump asked the court last week to review the Circuit Court of Appeals decision that allowed the department to continue its investigation of about a hundred classified documents for possible crimes. Trump’s lawyers argued they should have been part of a special master’s review of 11,000 records seized at Mar-a-Lago. But government lawyers argue the Supreme Court should reject that because Trump has little hope of winning and has not shown he would suffer irreparable harm from the review. AP reporter Eric Tucker has more.

Eric Tucker:

We’re learning new details about an FBI interview with a lawyer for former President Donald Trump. We are learning that one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, a woman named Christina Bobb, met with the FBI on Friday. She is important in this investigation because she was the custodian of records for Donald Trump’s documents after he left the White House and she gave the FBI and the Justice Department a sworn letter attesting to the fact that all of the classified records have been located, identified, and returned to the government.

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