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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A central Missouri 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 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.
 
Published in Local News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed the city of Columbia from a lawsuit filed by a man who spent more than 10 years in prison for murder before his convictions were vacated.
 
U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey issued an order last week dismissing the city from a lawsuit filed by Ryan Ferguson. The city was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it could be added to the lawsuit again in the future.
 
The city was one of 13 defendants in the lawsuit filed by Ferguson, who was convicted in the 2001 killing Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt. He was released in November after his convictions were vacated.
 
The Tribune reports the dismissal is contingent upon it having no effect on Ferguson's remaining claims against the other defendants.
Published in Local News
Monday, 09 December 2013 06:08

Newspaper editor's murder under review

  COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A Columbia police detective is taking a fresh look at a journalist's 2001 slaying after one of two men originally convicted of murder was freed after his case was overturned.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports police are reviewing the sizable case file in the death of former Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, who was strangled and beaten to death in the newspaper's parking lot.

Ryan Ferguson spent nearly a decade in prison, but was released in November after an appeals court panel ruled that prosecutors wrongly withheld evidence from the defenses. Missouri's attorney general opted to not retry Ferguson.

Chuck Erickson continues to serve a 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to killing Heitholt. Ferguson says his former high school classmate is innocent.

Published in Local News

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