Prosecutors have 15 days to decide whether to retry a man convicted in the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.
A state appeals court panel Tuesday overturned Ryan Ferguson's 2005 conviction. The court ruled 3-0 that he didn't get a fair trial because prosecutors withheld evidence from Ferguson's defense team.
The case had garnered national attention because Ferguson's friend Chuck Erickson had testified that he had remembered in a dream that he and Ferguson had been involved in Heitholt's death after a night of heavy partying.
Erickson is serving a 25 year sentence as part of a plea agreement, but later recanted his testimony. So did a security guard who had testified that he saw Erickson and Ferguson at the newspaper offices the night Heitholt was robbed, beaten and strangled to death.
Ferguson's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she has petitioned for her client's release on bail while prosecutors decide whether or not to retry him.
A documentary crew is in the process of filming the story of a notorious Missouri murder. Columbia Daily Tribune editor Kent Heitholt was beaten, strangled and robbed in the newspaper's parking lot in November 2001.
Ryan Ferguson is serving a 40-year sentence for the murder. He was convicted in 2005, but has maintained his innocence.
The Tribune reports that MTV Host and filmmaker Andrew Jenks and his crew are following the progress of Ferguson's case as it wends it's way through the appeals court process. Jenks says he has no predetermined judgments about Ferguson's case.