ryan ferguson

Ryan Ferguson hearing
August Kryker / Columbia Tribune

Boone County could spend nearly $450,000 by the end of the year to defend itself and county employees in a lawsuit filed by a man whose murder conviction was vacated.

Ryan Ferguson
Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

Boone County has spent nearly $100,000 on outside attorneys to defend it and three employees in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of Ryan Ferguson and are expected to budget another $100,000 for addition legal fees.

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.

Ryan Ferguson
Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

An attorney for a man whose conviction in a Missouri sports editor's slaying was overturned has filed a civil rights lawsuit seeking $100 million.

missouri capitol
File photo / KBIA

A state Senate panel is scheduled to hear testimony from a Missouri man who spent 15 years of his life behind bars for a wrongful conviction.

@moon_melanie / twitter

Many media and journalism-school types have been following the dustup over KPLR anchor/reporter Melanie Moon's behavior while covering the Ryan Ferguson press conference earlier this week right after his release from prison. Joy Mayer at the Columbia Missourian cataloged the exchange with Moon in this Storify, so you'll need to read that first for this piece to make much sense. As Mayer has pointed out, many news outlets and twitterers are focusing on the ethical conversation around Moon hugging Ryan Ferguson and his father Bill, and taking a photograph with Ryan at the press conference. This is an interesting conversation, and the area of journalism ethics is blurry sometimes. But the more important conversation to have here really is the area that is not blurry: one about good, responsible journalism.

Just to get this out of the way briefly here, I'm going to side with the curmudgeons on the hug, and say for a variety of reasons that is unprofessional. I'm not calling for a ban on journalist hugs, but I will summarize by saying I think intention is important. Hugs for consolation can make sense in some circumstances, for celebration, not so much. I would contend that if you're doing your job right as a journalist you will already have boundaries that make interactions like this something you'll never feel comfortable with. I also will emphasize the importance of avoiding the appearance of conflict of interest, and the Society of Professional journalists would back me up on that one.

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.

Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

After almost 10 years of high-profile court battles and an international media campaign led by his family and friends, Ryan Ferguson is free.  The Ferguson family members and supporters greeted him at Columbia’s Tiger Hotel Tuesday night, following his release.

The Missouri Court of Appeals issued a bond order Tuesday releasing Ryan Ferguson from his near decade-long imprisonment at the Jefferson City Correctional Center.

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.  

August Kryger / Columbia Tribune

According to a press release issued Friday afternoon by Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight, Assistant Missouri Attorney General Susan Boresi has been appointed as a special prosecutor in the Ryan Ferguson case.

Knight’s office had to request permission from a circuit court to bring in a special prosecutor, and the request was granted. In the request, Knight wrote that the appointment was needed because his office had a conflict of interest in the case because of current and former employees.

ferguson ruling
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

This week: what's next for Ryan Ferguson and what exactly is in that appeals court ruling?

Update: This article was written the week before Ryan Ferguson's release. The 30-day timeline we outline below is based on state prosecutors taking no action at all, allowing legal deadlines to stretch out and pass. For coverage of Ryan Ferguson's release, read our latest story.

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.

Ryan Ferguson hearing
August Kryker / Columbia Tribune

Ryan Ferguson appealed for a pardon from the governor yesterday (Monday). Ferguson was convicted for murder in 2005 for the 2001 death of Kent Heitholt, a Columbia Tribune sports editor. Ryan’s father, Bill Ferguson says this is an unusual case.

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.

Regional news from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Columbia school board selects new member
  • MU gets new budget director
  • Judge denies Ferguson habeus corpus

Judge denies Ryan Ferguson habeas corpus

Oct 31, 2012
Ryan Ferguson hearing
August Kryker / Columbia Tribune

A Missouri judge has refused to grant a new trial for a Columbia man convicted of second-degree murder in the 2001 killing of a newspaper sports editor.

Ryan Ferguson was one of two teenagers accused in the beating and strangulation of Kent Heithold outside the Columbia Daily Tribune early on the morning of Nov. 1, 2001.

Ryan’s father Bill Ferguson has been spearheading the effort to prove his son’s innocence.

“I am just devastated,” said Bill Ferguson.

He says he hadn’t heard the news until KBIA reached him for comment.

August Kryger / Columbia Daily Tribune

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • The latest on the Ryan Ferguson hearing in Jefferson City
  • Details on an agreement to attempt to manufacture small modular nuclear reactors in Callaway County
  • The latest state legislation related to the Federal Health Care law

Newscast for April 18, 2012

Apr 18, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Charles Erickson recants his previous testimony in the Ryan Ferguson trial.
  • Legislation that would tweak Missouri's K-12 funding formula stalls in the state Senate.
  • Cole County's court circuit clerk resigns after today's state audit release.
August Kryger / Columbia Daily Tribune

Charles Erickson testified today that he believes Ryan Ferguson is innocent of the murder for which they are both in prison. Erickson originally implicated himself and Ferguson, but now says he has no firm memory of what happened that night.

Newscast for April 18, 2012

Apr 18, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • Ryan Ferguson hearing continues in Jefferson City.
  • More on confirmed e. coli. cases in Missouri.
  • Missouri House endorses law making undercover filming of agriculture facilities a crime.

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 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 

Newscast for April 11, 2012

Apr 11, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Pretrial motions end in the Ryan Ferguson case.
  • The Missouri House passes a bill to change the state's workers' comp system.
  • Some state senators balk at changing gubernatorial election rules.

Ferguson case hearing begins next week

Apr 11, 2012

Ryan Ferguson will be in Jefferson City next week for a hearing concerning his 2005 murder conviction.