kent heitholt

Ryan Ferguson
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.

Null Value / Flickr

Police say they will look into any new leads in the 2001 slaying of a newspaper sports editor after one of the men originally convicted had his case overturned and was freed.

The Columbia Police Department issued a written statement Wednesday saying it respects an appeals court decision that reversed the murder and robbery convictions of Ryan Ferguson in the killing of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

The police department says it will follow up on any new information that is brought to its attention.

Ryan Ferguson hearing
August Kryker / Columbia Tribune

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District announced Tuesday it is granting Ryan Ferguson habeas corpus relief, effectively vacating his conviction in the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt.

According to the court statement (full .pdf here), Ferguson is to be released from prison in 30 days unless the state appeals or expresses its intent to re-try Ferguson. Ferguson is serving a 40-year sentence.

The plight of a Missouri man convicted of killing a newspaper sports editor soon will be the focus of a documentary film as he continues his battle for freedom.

Ferguson family starts billboard campaign

Nov 26, 2012
Maoling Xiong / KBIA

Ryan Ferguson’s family started a billboard campaign Monday, encouraging the public to provide information about a composite image of a man possibly linked to the 2001 murder of Columbia Tribune editor Kent Heitholt.

Joe Gratz / Flickr

 

A Missouri judge denies telling witnesses what they needed to say when he was a prosecutor pursuing a conviction in the 2001 murder of a newspaper editor.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA news room, including:

  • More skepticism in the Ryan Ferguson murder trial -- this time from a forensic expert.

  • A Columbia hotel group supports a tax hike that would improve the Columbia Regional Airport.

  • A bill that would outlaw undercover activism.

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.

Two more witnesses are raising questions about evidence that helped convict a Missouri man in the 2001 death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

Newscast for April 17, 2012

Apr 17, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • Day one of a hearing reexamining Kent Heitholt murder evidence
  • Columbia ranked as hardest working city in U.S.
  • Missouri public office candidates file quarterly finance reports.

A Columbia man convicted nearly seven years ago for killing a newspaper sports editor in 2001 returns to court Monday in his latest bid for a new trial.

Newscast for April 16, 2012

Apr 16, 2012
File / KBIA

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • A hearing reviewing new evidence from the Kent Heitholt murder trial starts Monday.
  • Severe weekend storms batter Oklahoma and other plains states.
  • Less than one-half of one percent of Missouri voters showed up for the last GOP caucuses.

Newscast for April 12, 2012

Apr 12, 2012
File Photo / KBIA

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • Ryan Ferguson to appear in court next week
  • Reasons behind the deaths of thousands of fish in Columbia remain elusive
  • A Missouri woman wins thousands from lottery