Forensic expert questions motive in Heitholt death
An expert witness hired by convicted murderer Ryan Ferguson is questioning a police theory that former Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt was killed during an attempted robbery.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Larry Blum testified Tuesday at a Cole County hearing on Ferguson's latest bid for a new trial. Blum said an autopsy showing Heitholt died of strangulation and a blow to the head suggests the murder was not motivated by robbery.
Heitholt was killed in November 2001 as he walked to his car in the Tribune parking lot.
Ferguson was convicted in 2005 of killing Heitholt and is serving a 40-year sentence for second-degree murder and robbery. His high school friend, Chuck Erickson, was also found guilty in the case.