Prosecutors ask for second extension in Ferguson case

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | 8:52 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The attorney general's office has requested that Ryan Ferguson's appeal be pushed back again.

Ferguson, who was convicted for the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, recently received a boost in his appeal for a new trial when co-defendant Charles Erickson recanted his testimony implicating Ferguson in the crime. Erickson said he acted alone instead, and a recent decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District allowed Erickson's statement to be a part of Ferguson's appeal.

Ferguson's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, said both the defense and Missouri's attorney general's office originally requested extensions to review the court's changes to the case. Following its initial extension, the attorney general's office requested a second extension Thursday, saying its workload was too heavy to prosecute Ferguson's case at the time. Ferguson's attorneys filed a response to the state's request Monday.

Zellner said the state should move forward with the case instead of requesting extensions.

"The state should just face that their case has fallen apart," Zellner said.

If the case stays on its current course, Zellner said she expects a decision by November.

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Suzanne Thomason June 19, 2010 | 5:29 p.m.

My comment is directed to Mr. Ferguson's attorney, Kathleen Zellner: I've twice watched clips on television of this case during the first trial and I feel strongly that you very much need to request that the Judge bring one or more psychologists into future appeals to analyze Charles Erickson's behavior while on the witness stand, especially in the first trial, and subsequent behavior up to and including his recanting of Fergusons' guilt.

In the first trial, Erickson shows signs of admission of guilt but only through another person. In this case, Mr. Ferguson is the person Erickson has blamed. By blaming another person, a person he is clearly jealous of and whom he can have power over what happens to, Erickson can "live the dream", his own dream of what happened to Mr. Heitholt. In this way, Mr. Erickson won't hold himself responsible, but will, in fact, get off with a lighter sentence for something only he committed.

If you watch the visual part of this case, you will see just how much power Mr. Erickson thinks he wields over the thoughts of everyone in the courtroom and the outcome of the case. He thinks he is in control and he is merely an observer to what happened, and, went on to beome the State's number one witness to what happened. In his mind he's a star witness and a hero.

If you buy into his version of what happened, you can't separate Ferguson from the actual act, however, if you watch Mr. Erickson's behavior, it becomes evident that Mr. Erickson is projecting his guilt onto someone he quite possibly even hates and this is a great way to get out of something he alone did since everyone seems to believe him anyway.

Please, Ms. Zellner, please follow this angle and let others see just what Mr. Erickson has done to Mr. Ferguson's life. Mr. Erickson has a lot in common with Joran van der Sloot in that they are both playing others like puppets to do their own will and laughing about it. See what the psychological experts see....

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