Boone County hires lawyers for civil rights case

Apr 17, 2014

Ryan Ferguson
Ryan Ferguson filed a civil rights suit earlier this month against Boone County, a former prosecuting attorney and the two investigators.
Credit Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

Boone County has hired four attorneys to help defend itself and three employees named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a man whose murder conviction was overturned after he served nearly a decade behind bars.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Ryan Ferguson filed an amended federal civil rights suit earlier this month against Boone County, former prosecuting attorney Kevin Crane and investigators Ben White and William Haws.

The suit claims the county has "customs, policies and omissions in training that caused the deprivation" of Ferguson's rights.

Ferguson was convicted in 2005 of killing Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt in 2001, but a three-judge state appeals court panel vacated his convictions last year because prosecutors wrongly withheld evidence favorable to Ferguson's defense.