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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A man convicted of killing a sports editor in Columbia in 2001 is asking Gov. Jay Nixon for a pardon.

Ryan Ferguson is serving a 40-year prison sentence for murder and robbery in the November 2001 death of Kent Heitholt, a sports editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Ferguson has always maintained his innocence and is also seeking a new trial. Co-defendant Charles Erickson is serving a 25-year prison sentence.

Ferguson's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, says her client is innocent and she is gathering new evidence against another possible suspect.

Nixon's spokesman, Scott Holste, says the governor has never granted a criminal pardon.

The Daily Tribune reports Missouri's Board of Probation and Parole will investigate the case and submit a report to Nixon.

Published in Local News

 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is ordering flags to be flown at half-staff at state buildings in Boone County and at corrections facilities across the state in honor of the slain Colorado prison director.

 

Tom Clements, 58, was a Missouri corrections official for over three decades before taking the top prisons job in Colorado. He was shot and killed at his Colorado home March 19.

 

He oversaw Missouri's 21 adult correctional facilities before he left to take the top Colorado job in 2011.

 

While working for the Missouri prison system, Clements lived in Columbia. State of Missouri and U.S. flags will fly at half-staff on Friday until sunset. A 4 p.m. memorial service is scheduled for Friday at Woodcrest Chapel in Columbia.

 

Published in Local News

Police have released a person of interest in the case of a woman found dead in south St. Louis Sunday morning.

Police found 47-year-old Aretha Robinson in the alley behind the 2200 block of South Jefferson. The coroner determined Robinson was strangled. Officers picked up a person of interest, but have released the person without filing charges.

 

Published in Local News
Earlier this month, Oundre Akins was convicted for robbing a Steak 'n Shake restaurant and killing two employees in 2008. Today, a judge ensured that he will never set foot outside of prison.

The judge sentences Akins to consecutive life sentences for the murders. The death penalty was taken off the table after Akins agreed to waive a jury trial. Akins' brother Anthony goes to trial in July for allegedly helping his brother in the robbery and murders.
Published in Local News
Prosecutors cited autopsy results in charging a William Gunter with the murder of his wife Suzanne.

Police were called to the couple's Town & Country home on Monday. When they arrived, they found Suzanne injured and rushed her to the hospital. Autopsy results showed she had died from a blow to the head and this contradicted the statement that William had given to officers. Court documents allege that Gunter is the person who hit his wife in the head and killed her.

William will face 1st degree murder charges and funeral services for Suzanne are set for Friday.
Published in Local News
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The 18-year-old triggerman in a 2011 shooting death in St. Joseph has been sentenced to 75 years in prison.

Elijah Pickett was sentenced Friday for killing 28-year-old Brian Ulmer during a robbery attempt at Ulmer's home. He was convicted in January of second-degree murder and several other charges.

Prosecutors say Pickett shot Ulmer three times at point-blank range.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports Pickett said he planned to appeal because he was unhappy with the effort of his attorney.

Two other defendants, Kasey Hall and Xavier Johnson, were each sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. A fourth defendant was found not guilty. A fifth defendant is in federal prison and no date has been set for his trial.
Published in Local News
JACKSON, Mo. (AP) — A southeast Missouri man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed two people in Cape Girardeau last month.

The Southeast Missourian reports that 22-year-old Kenneth Bell of Cape Girardeau entered the plea at a hearing Monday.

Bell is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Shannon James and Misty Cole. Both were shot to death Feb. 7 inside their apartment.

The next court appearance for Bell is April 18.

Witnesses told police that a confrontation began when James bumped into Bell on a sidewalk. Moments later, James and Cole were shot several times.
Published in Local News
Investigators say someone else is responsible for the death of Blackburn College student who overdosed on opium in January.

Police in Carlinville say that Joshua Ramza died of opium intoxication, but the person who supplied him the drug is liable for his death.

Police say the case is now a homicide and they ask anyone with information to contact them at carlinvillepolice.com.
Published in Local News
PHILADELPHIA - AP - Family members say retired boxer Tony Martin was fatally shot in an altercation with a visitor at one of his rental properties in Philadelphia.

Police say the 52-year-old Martin, a former welterweight, was shot during an argument at the home in the city’s Hunting Park section on Friday. Martin’s niece, Robyn Peete, says that her uncle was a good landlord and longtime postal worker and that the altercation apparently involved a person visiting his tenant.

Martin’s family is pleading for the gunman to come forward.

Martin was 34-6-1 in his boxing career, with 12 knockouts. He is a native of St. Louis who moved to Philadelphia to train in 1985. He lost his last fight, a decision to Julio Cesar Chavez in Las Vegas, in 1997.
Published in Local News
Two people are being held without bail in connection to the death of a 60 year old man whose body was found Saturday morning in Ferguson.

A Ferguson police officer on a routine patrol of January-Wabash Park found the victim's body in the back of a pickup truck. Early reports indicate that the man had been shot in the head.

Police haven't released the victim's name, but say one of the suspects, 56 year old Deborah Ann Lewis, had been living at the victim's home. The other suspect, 52 year old James Carl Miller, is reported to be an associate of Lewis'. Both are charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

The St. Louis Major Case Squad had been called in to investigate.
Published in Local News

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