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Ryan Ferguson case stays in spotlight despite setbacks in court

Thursday, August 4, 2011 | 8:45 p.m. CDT; updated 10:15 a.m. CDT, Friday, August 5, 2011
Ryan Ferguson talks to a Missourian reporter in a visitors room at the Jefferson City Correctional Center. Ferguson is serving a 40-year sentence for first-degree robbery and second-degree murder in the killing of Columbia Daily Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt. A preliminary hearing in Ferguson's case was held Wednesday ahead of a five-day evidentiary hearing that starts Monday, where he hopes new evidence will prove his innocence.

COLUMBIA — Nearly a decade after the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, his name still frequently appears in news stories.

These days, he is rarely the main subject of the stories. Neither are his widow and children. They have long since stopped talking to reporters.

Heitholt and his death have become a clause necessary to explain the latest effort of Ryan Ferguson to get out of prison. When Ferguson was convicted of killing Heitholt in 2005, his time in the media spotlight had just begun.

On Friday night, "Dateline NBC" will air a two-hour special on the 2001 slaying, the evidence that landed Ferguson behind bars and his father's relentless efforts to free him.

Ferguson's father, Bill, has been the driving force behind Ryan Ferguson's appeals and the media attention surrounding his case since he was convicted. The elder Ferguson has placed himself squarely in the public eye and has become both an investigator and publicist as he continues to search for and promote evidence that he hopes will help exonerate his son.

Ferguson's newest attorney, Chicago-based Kathleen Zellner, was hired by his father in 2009 after he learned of the lawyer's reputation for overturning wrongful convictions. Zellner had heard of the Fergusons through the media. She said she was convinced of Ryan's innocence and took on the case pro bono.

But despite recent positive media coverage, a high-profile attorney and throngs of supporters, Ferguson remains in prison, his most recent legal efforts shut down.

How it all began

If you ask Ryan Ferguson or his family, they won’t even concede that he might have been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Ferguson has consistently maintained that he was “absolutely not” in the Tribune parking lot or near Heitholt that Halloween night.

“Try to remember what you did two Halloweens ago,” he said during a recent interview in the Jefferson City Correctional Center. He remembers the night as fun but unremarkable.

When asked in 2004 by Columbia police to recall what he did that night, Ryan Ferguson said he went to the now-defunct nightclub By George with his friend Charles Erickson, and when the club closed, he drove Erickson and then himself home. End of story.

Physical evidence has not contradicted this claim. Despite the bloody shoe prints and fingerprints at the scene, and hair found in the victim’s hand, lab results didn't tie Ferguson to the crime scene.

Erickson emerged as a factor in the case after a dream. After reading an article about the then-unsolved murder, Erickson began telling friends he had disturbing dreams and thoughts that he and Ferguson were involved. Soon both were brought in by police for questioning.

In October 2005, Erickson’s dream became testimony in Ferguson's trial in Boone County Circuit Court. The 20-year-old had already pleaded guilty to his role in Heitholt's slaying. Now, on the stand in striped prison garb too large for his thin frame, he testified for the prosecution.

“I did this,” Erickson said. Then he turned and lifted a shackled wrist to point at Ferguson. “He did this. I didn’t dream anything.” 

The jury took five hours to unanimously decide they believed him. They sentenced Ferguson to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder and first-degree robbery.

Bill Ferguson and the media

To date, Ryan Ferguson has gone through eight lawyers and countless appeals — and hit nearly as many dead ends.

If his case has become a media circus, his father has become the ringmaster. He is unabashed about his relationship with reporters and his own prominence in the media. A real estate salesman, he's gregarious, oozes Midwestern charm and is chummy with reporters.

Bill Ferguson has never missed a hearing — nor an opportunity to dole out a sound bite. He is articulate yet desperately passionate when he speaks about his son’s plight; his quotes are practically tailor-made to wrap up articles and newscasts. He fancies himself an educator, and at the most recent hearing, he invited several reporters to join him on the now-famous crime-scene tour.

In 2008, he carried a spoon in his pocket to an evidentiary hearing, hoping to be asked about it. When reporters didn’t bite, he nudged them along.

“You’re probably wondering why I have this spoon in my pocket. Do you know why I have this spoon in my pocket?” he baited, in his rhetorical style. “This is a Columbia Police Department interrogation tool.”

It was an allusion to how he believes the police fed witnesses information: by the spoonful.

Reporters laughed. Cameras flashed. The shot of Bill Ferguson holding up the spoon ended up on the front page of the Columbia Daily Tribune the following day.

Bill Ferguson manages the freeryanferguson.com website and blog. His daughter, Kelly, manages the Facebook pages, and Ryan's mother, Leslie, responds to e-correspondence. He said the site has received roughly 750,000 hits.

NBC's Keith Morrison, who is reporting on the story for "Dateline NBC" on Friday,  said one of the elements that makes the story so compelling is the strong father-son relationship.

"It's something any family can relate to," he said. "What happens when one of their children is accused of something dreadful? This is a family that is wearing its agony on its sleeve."

Bill Ferguson's agony and obsession are apparent when he talks about his son's case. He says he has amassed eight years’ worth of evidence, police reports, news clips and details about the main characters responsible for his son’s incarceration. Every once in a while, he will casually drop into the conversation some unsavory tidbit about the police or the prosecution.

He can quickly search through his alphabetical files for ammunition when he needs to respond to a question posted in the media.

“I anticipate what people are going to ask,” he said. “And then if things are starting to get quiet, I throw a little meat in the cage.”

The conviction

Many have felt Ryan Ferguson's demeanor helped convict him in the first place.

Ferguson said many people have told him he seemed “cocky” on the stand. For example, when then-Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane was swapping insults with him in court, Ferguson fired back with one of his trademark rhetorical questions: “Would you believe you'd be arrested for a crime you didn't commit?”

“I didn’t commit one,” Crane said.

An expressionless Ryan countered, “Neither did I.”

It wasn’t the first time he'd talked back. In the interrogation room, when police told him there were fingerprints found at the scene, a seemingly relieved Ferguson shooed the cop away, saying, “Well, you better get on that.”

Latisha Stroer, then a detective for the Columbia Police Department, interviewed several witnesses. Her initial impression of Ferguson was that he “partied a lot.” She said statements he made to witnesses — and subsequent statements witnesses made to police — convinced Stroer that the right man was going on trial.

After now spending nearly a quarter of his life behind bars, more than a year of that in solitary confinement, Ferguson says the five days of the trial were the worst of his life.

His “remorseless” demeanor was based on his attorney’s instructions to respect the court, he said. And he spent more than 18 months locked up in a Boone County Jail holding cell before the trial with “the worst people you’ve ever met it your life, times 10.”

“I went outside every chance I got,” he said of his first year. “And I went outside twice.”

By the time the trial rolled around in October 2005, he said he felt simply defeated.

He said he wanted nothing more than to scream that he was innocent, but was silenced by the “damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t” dilemma.

He blames television for creating expectations of how an innocent person is supposed to behave. Act crushed, you show guilt. Hide emotions, you’re remorseless.

A shift

The case didn’t garner national attention until a series was written by former Columbia Tribune columnist Tony Messenger. "48 Hours" subsequently caught wind of the case and aired a segment.

By showing clips of the taped interrogations, the episode fostered the belief that police had fed Charles Erickson details he originally seemed to know nothing about.

For instance, in one clip, Erickson doesn't seem to be able to explain how he and Ryan strangled Heitholt. When a detective informs him it was with the victim’s belt, Erickson appears dumbfounded. The detective asks if that sounds familiar. “Not at all,” Erickson says.

That scene is immediately followed by a flash forward to the trial, where Erickson not only is certain about ripping the belt off Heitholt, but demonstrates how he and Ferguson were able to take down the 6-foot-3-inch-tall Heitholt by holding a foot on his back.

Both father and son say they saw a transition in public opinion following the "48 Hours" episode. And every time the show is re-aired, Ferguson says he receives a wave of letters in support.

“It gives me hope,” he said of the attention.

Over time, Ferguson said, the media have presented information that the jury had not heard, such as a statement from a Tribune janitor who said she saw two men leaving the crime scene the night of the murder.

She was later called as a witness in an appeal and testified that neither of them was Ferguson or Erickson.

“The only ones who are against me now are the people who don’t know the facts about the case,” Ferguson said.

'Watching the system'

For the past few years, Bill Ferguson and Kathleen Zellner have been talking about the case to the media as few others have been willing — or able — to do.

Heitholt’s family has since moved away, and Kali, Kent’s daughter, said she has vowed to no longer talk to the media. She said the family just wants to move on.

The Columbia Police Department has been reluctant to speak publicly. Stroer, one of the detectives at the time, said she and the officers who worked on the case have not altered their view of Ferguson and believe he received a fair trial.

In a recent interview, she chose each word carefully, and simply shook her head apologetically when pressed for specifics. The pending appeal bars the department from speaking further.  

“I wish we could comment more about the case,” she said. “The victim seems to be forgotten at some point throughout this; that’s the hardest part.”

She said most police agree that everyone has a right to appeal, but the trial should remain in the courts.

“They want it to be dealt with in the system,” she said of her colleagues, “not in the media.”

And former prosecutor Crane, who is now a Boone County Circuit Court judge, has denied numerous requests for an on- or off-the-record interview.

Columbia Tribune Managing Editor Jim Robertson agreed to talk about his former employee but wouldn't comment on the merits of the case against Ferguson. He recalled how he hired Kent Heitholt after the reporter moved to Columbia from Shreveport, La., to live in a safer place for his children.

Robertson said he was fond of Heitholt and has watched the case unfold over the years.

“I’ve been watching the system do its work,” he said. “Nothing has moved me from where I was at the end of the trial.”

But he won't say where that is.

Robertson admits that it has been a challenge to report the story because so many of the staff were close to Heitholt, but reporters have taken pains to ensure balanced coverage.

“Some people continue to allege that we are not fair to Ryan,” he said. “I would challenge anybody to look over the body of work on this story and find we were biased.”

Is it working?

On May 5, the Missourian asked readers if they thought Ferguson should be granted a new evidentiary hearing. Seven of eight commenters thought he should. This ratio is typical of comments on nearly all of the Missourian and Columbia Tribune articles on Ferguson this year.

Columbia criminal defense attorney Jennifer Bukowsky said the media attention couldn’t hurt in court.

“I think that will benefit him that the public is interested in his plight,” she said. “It will make the courts examine things more closely and not just brush him off.”

But Bukowsky said in a real legal sense, the publicity probably has no bearing. However, judges are subject to retention votes in the state of Missouri.

“They are public servants; they are sworn to uphold the constitution,” she said. “Hopefully, the public attention this case has gotten will have the judges focus on the actual facts.”

So far, however, there has been no actual progress toward obtaining a new trial for Ferguson. He has lost every appeal to date and is hoping the recantations of Charles Erickson and another witness, Jerry Trump, will open the door.

His laywer said Missouri’s appeals system is to blame.

“Missouri has some of the most restrictive habeas procedures in the United States," Zellner said. "I have said before that if Ryan were in Illinois, he would be back in college by now. I think it's going to take a higher court to untangle this case."

Ferguson is running out of appeals in Missouri, Zellner said, so after the Missouri state court process has been exhausted, she and Bill Ferguson will make a go at federal district court, and then the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“If necessary, we will go to the United States Supreme Court,” she said.

More to come

For now, Ryan Ferguson waits. He speaks with an easy, camera-ready smile, and remains tanned, upbeat and humble. Ask him how it’s going and he’ll answer, “As good as can be expected.”

He is optimistic that he will be released and speaks in “whens” instead of “ifs.”

On Thursday, Bill Ferguson was flown to New York to appear on the "Today" show Friday morning, a teaser of sorts for the "Dateline" special Friday night. The Ferguson team has updated the website and emailed supporters, encouraging them to watch.

A hearing is set for Tuesday to discuss the other issues in the habeas petition, namely, the recantations of Charles Erickson and Jerry Trump, who now both say they lied at the trial.

"Dateline" reporter Morrison said his team was unable to speak with Erickson.

"We're still hoping to at some point, and that's one of the reasons we're not finished yet," he said. "And we won't be after Friday. Because there is more to come."


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Comments

Delcia Crockett August 4, 2011 | 10:54 p.m.

@"On Thursday, Bill Ferguson was flown to New York to appear on the "Today" show Friday morning, a teaser of sorts for the "Dateline" special Friday night. The Ferguson team has updated the website and emailed supporters, encouraging them to watch."

You have to be impressed with this sort of thing - publicity to promote a show - to have it impress you. So many people are connected to "show business" in way of knowing someone in it, or having someone close to them connected to "show business" in some way that most people are not overly impressed by publicity swaying their thoughts one way or the other.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 4, 2011 | 10:55 p.m.

@"But despite recent positive media coverage, a high-profile attorney and throngs of supporters, Ferguson remains in prison, his most recent legal efforts shut down."

What is "positive media coverage"? Biased reporting?

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 4, 2011 | 10:58 p.m.

@"To date, Ryan Ferguson has gone through eight lawyers and countless appeals — and hit nearly as many dead ends."

As courts and judges were presented with every "fact" the lawyers in the case could present or come up with. And, yet no one was convinced.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 4, 2011 | 11:02 p.m.

@"After now spending nearly a quarter of his life behind bars, more than a year of that in solitary confinement..."

How does one get in solitary confinement?

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 4, 2011 | 11:05 p.m.

@“'If necessary, we will go to the United States Supreme Court,'” she said.

To set what precedent?

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 4, 2011 | 11:09 p.m.

@"Heitholt’s family has since moved away, and Kali, Kent’s daughter, said she has vowed to no longer talk to the media. She said the family just wants to move on."

Thoughts and prayers with you.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 4, 2011 | 11:17 p.m.

@"Nearly a decade after the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, his name still frequently appears in news stories.
These days, he is rarely the main subject of the stories. Neither are his widow and children. They have long since stopped talking to reporters."

In our thoughts and prayers, every time this "circus" starts again. People are not tried in the media; they are tried in court. Thank God for that.

People who never comment on here are reflected in these comments I have made tonight on their behalf - the folks who remain quiet but respect the police, the courts and the justice system - and talk among themselves and with their friends and families when crime happens in this city.

The press does not impress them that much, when it goes rampart with repeat stories.

Thank you for the time and space for speaking up for the quiet citizens.

Columbia, have a great weekend!
: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 4, 2011 | 11:27 p.m.

@headline: "Ryan Ferguson case stays in spotlight despite setbacks in court"

This story can stay on here for hours and hours, before it makes it into even the bottom rung of the ladder-list of Most-Read Stories." What does that say about most readers?

Yawn?

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 4, 2011 | 11:32 p.m.

Many of the many local bloggers never bring it up - no matter the numerous places they post on regular basis. So, if anyone gets all "excited" and follows through on NBC's hook line in fishing out to audiences for the local affiliation, it could mean that the local affiliations could lose some audience of its own, in some cases.

Not out of meanness. And not out of ignorance. Just out of not wanting to sit through yet more of the dissing of the police, courts and justice system while no new facts emerge to support the case of the defendant.

Old news is old news. Sorry.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 5, 2011 | 3:25 a.m.

Well the story does not seem to be lost on you, Delcia... It seems to have you talking to yourself.

Hubby must not be paying much attention to you today.......? LOL.

Ricky Gurley

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.xom
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 5, 2011 | 4:18 a.m.

Thank you, Ricky, for starting my Friday off with a laugh. It occurs to me that things haven't changed much over the past five years or so, and I'm not referring to the Ryan Ferguson business. :) On the other hand, is there any reason why we should EXPECT anything to change?

(Report Comment)
tam smith August 5, 2011 | 6:56 a.m.

I just saw the morning news program featuring this story
it sad that we live in a world that now has laws that favor the money making prison sytem, and you are guilty untill proven innocent, and the media determines your fate. reminds me of the roman lion pits, bloodthirsty people covicting inoccent people just for entertainment.
people today in general are immature, like drama
and are ever so in a hurry to make huge stories from nothing. what the heck was wrong with that jury??? are they stupid?
I am sure the many states in this country and other areas worldwide have corrupt judicial systems that thrive on prosecuting people simply to make a quota, make money, or get in the news, whatever the crooked reason .
when there is no evidence what so ever to link someone to a crime, other than mere words, there in no way should be an arrest. I sympathize greatly with his parents and this young man. so many people in jail who are inoccent,
its true we live, on a prison planet. the only hope we have now is that God will soon very soon, step in and destroy the governments of this planet.
we best be on his side when he does so.

(Report Comment)
Lynn Ayers August 5, 2011 | 8:22 a.m.

@ Delcia >> I found your marathon posting to be quite laughable! It really takes a person with a "creative" imagination to think that someone has that kind of influence to manipulate the media. That is REALLY reaching!! Why can't you accept the more realistic alternative which is the fact that this story is getting more & more attention because Ryan Ferguson is OBVIOUSLY innocent!! Of course programs like 48 Hours and now Dateline are going to jump right into it! This is the kind of story they live for! Hello? It's preposterous to conclude that Ryan's father, Columbia, MO native, has these elaborate connections to the media. If that were the case, why wasn't Ryan's story out there so visibly 8 years ago?!

Basically, what it comes down to is, people can say what they want, but the bottom line is that prosecutor Kevin Crane's only 2 witnesses, and in view of no other evidence, had eventually turned on Crane. Their testimony during Ryan's trial was false and they had committed perjury, and even worse (!!!) their false testimony was aided and abetted by Prosecutor Kevin Crane; these 2 witnesses who have recanted have now put themselves in peril. Which means that they can each serve jail sentences for lying under oath during a murder trial. Obviously, these 2 witnesses feel they have a higher duty to now come forward with the truth regardless of the pressures exerted on them by the judicial system and prosecutor Kevin Crane.

Delcia, why don't you try attacking Prosecutor Kevin Crane for LYING rather than attaking Ryan Ferguson's family for trying to get their innocent son's story out? They didn't ask for any of this! If the media contacts the Fergusons, why would they turn them down? They want to get Ryan's story out there!! Their son is clearly innocent. Fortunately, the media HAS taken an interest in this case!! The truth is finally coming out.

(Report Comment)
don bradley August 5, 2011 | 8:55 a.m.

>Neither are his widow and children.
>They have long since stopped talking to reporters.
The story is about Ryan Ferguson having been railroaded.
The story is not about the family's belief that either one or two slightly built youths attacked a hulking athlete and won a lengthy fight.

>Ferguson was convicted but has always maintained his innocence.
What else should he do?

Heitholt and his death have become a clause necessary to explain the latest effort of Ryan Ferguson to get out of prison. When Ferguson was convicted of killing Heitholt in 2005, his time in the media spotlight had just begun.

>Ferguson's father has been the driving force behind Ryan
Ferguson's appeals
Surely a university newspaper is not adopting the tabloid smear tactic to imply that there is some reason we should discount the evidence because it comes from a father?

>they won’t even concede that he might have been at the
>wrong place at the wrong time.
Why should they. At time Kent Heitholt died, Ryan Ferguson was sitting on the curb outside his home eight miles away finishing up a phone call so as not to wake his family.

>Ferguson has consistently maintained that he was
>“absolutely not” in the Tribune parking lot or near
>Heitholt that Halloween night.
Yes. Consistently! And truthfully!

>He remembers the night as fun but unremarkable.
That is pretty much what it was.

>when the club closed, he drove Erickson and then himself
>home. End of story.
Yep. End of story.

>Physical evidence has not contradicted this claim.
And you would expect an awful lot of physical evidence if a 17 year old slightly built youth tried to take on big hulking athlete.

>lab results didn't tie Ferguson to the crime scene.
H'mm that is strangely worded. Why didn't you come right out and say the lab results showed the footprints and fingerprints definitely excluded Ryan Ferguson.

>Erickson emerged as a factor in the case after a dream.
Do the dreams of alcohol and drug using jerks whose friends are all deserting him because of his mental problems interest you?

>had already pleaded guilty to his role
But he had no role in the slaying. None at all.

>To date, Ryan Ferguson has hit many dead ends.
Yeah, them cops and DAs and Judges are pretty persistent and vindictive.

>If his case has become a media circus,
It hasn't.

>It was an allusion to how he believes the police fed
>witnesses information: by the spoonful.
How he "believes" it happened? What's the matter, you didn't watch those interrogation tapes yourself?

>An expressionless Ryan countered, “Neither did I.”
Good for him!!

(Report Comment)
don bradley August 5, 2011 | 8:56 a.m.

>Her initial impression of Ferguson was he “partied a lot.”
What? He treated girls with respect and they liked that and often dated him. Wow! Sure better put young men like that in jail!

>She said statements convinced Stroer that the
>right man was going on trial.
Oh... I trust that you as a journalist insisted that this Stroer character produce those statements and explain in what manner she was convinced by them. Statements? Or tea leaves? Or misguided loyalty to her department above all else?

>By showing clips ...fostered the belief that police had
>fed Charles Erickson details he originally seemed to
>know nothing about.
Oh such slanted journalism!
"clips" "fostered the belief" "seemed to know nothing about"
How about clearly demonstrated that Erickson knew nothing about.

>She testified that neither was Ferguson or Erickson.
You seem to gloss over the fact that the prosecutor appears to have known of this observation at the time of the trial.

>She said the family just wants to move on.
Yeah, leave the innocent in jail and move on confident that the large powerful man who was the last to see Heitholt alive and who had significant conflicts with him is not the murderer.

>Stroer said the officers have not altered their view of
>Ferguson and believe he received a fair trial.
She must also believe the police walk on water too.

>“The victim seems to be forgotten that’s the hardest part.”
I assume she is referring to Ryan Ferguson, the victim of police incompetence and judicial incompetence (or worse).

Columbia Tribune Managing Editor Jim Robertson wouldn't
>comment on the merits of the case against Ferguson.
How does he keep his job then??

>“I would challenge anybody to find we were biased.”
Please show us where you have published the the coworker was large and powerful, kept changing his story, disposed of his vehicle in a most unusual and suspicious manner and was a friend of the several police officers.

(Report Comment)
don bradley August 5, 2011 | 9:00 a.m.

>"Hopefully, the public attention this case has gotten
>will have the judges focus on the actual facts.”
Pardon me if I, knowing that this is a Missouri case, don't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

(Report Comment)
Sheila Berry August 5, 2011 | 11:31 a.m.

I'll bet Delcia has an opinion about the Casey Anthony case, and that it was shaped entirely by media coverage.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 5, 2011 | 12:11 p.m.

Ellis,

We have to try to be understanding towards ignorant people; they don't even have a clue that they are ignorant. Often times they believe they are the smartest people in the room while everyone else in the room is laughing at them. Makes you almost want to feel sorry for them when you think about it in that way....

I could recite the reams of exculpatory evidence that would make a reasonable person believe that Ryan Ferguson just may be innocent; but what is the use? Ignorant people that want to believe in something are completely unmovable in their beliefs no matter how unreasonable they are. They mimic the "X Files" in reverse; "They Want To Believe"... LOL. These people that believe Ryan is guilty can’t even give you a reason that they believe he is guilty other than a Jury found him guilty. They are incapable of thinking for theirselves.

The fact is, as this case stands right now with all of the witnesses that have recanted, and all that we know right now; this case would have never even made it past the Police Detectives if they had known back when they charged Ryan what we all know now. Chuck Erickson has recanted, Jerry Trump has recanted, Shawna Ornt not only recanted but has also claimed that the Prosecutor coerced her into giving her testimony. Those witnesses were the entire case. At this point in time there is simply no case at all. We KNOW that exculpatory evidence was in fact withheld from the defense, and the defense should have been given that evidence to further investigate and present an alternate theory of what happened to the Jury.

I know the last Judge that ruled on this case. I can't say how I know him, but I can state the obvious; he was a private practice attorney before he was a Judge. That Judge is a really nice man; but this case presents certain "pressures" that make it very difficult for a local Judge to give a fair and balanced ruling. This case will have to move into a higher court before some of those "pressures" become less significant.

We have a ways to go before we start to see how this case is REALLY going to "shake out"...

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
John Smith August 5, 2011 | 1:23 p.m.

I'll agree that this case was probably not handled right and there is very little eveidence to support Ryan's guilt. I don't know if he was guilty or even involved, but the evidence was not there to support the case.

However there is one that has been nagging at me since Chuck Erickson recanted his testimony and it is this, During the trail Ryan's father kept preaching that people shouldn't believe anything that Chuck says and that hes out of his mind and that he cannot be believed about anything.

Fast forward 7 years and now that Check's testimony will help Ryan, suddenly Ryan's father is pushing that Erickson should be trusted and his word should be believed.

Does anyone else find that odd?

(Report Comment)
Mark Flakne August 5, 2011 | 1:29 p.m.

"Every fact which is essential to prove an element of the offense must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt."

[In re Winship (1970) 397 U.S. 358, 364 [90 S.Ct. 1068; 25 L.Ed.2d 368]; Fiore v. White (2001) 531 U.S. 225 [121 S.Ct. 712; 148 L.Ed.2d 629]; Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 U.S. 466 [120 S.Ct. 2348; 147 L.Ed.2d 435].]

"The presumption of innocence requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each element and every essential fact necessary to prove the charged crime."

[In re Winship (1970) 397 U.S. 358, 364 [90 S.Ct. 1068; 25 L.Ed.2d 368]; Fiore v. White (2001) 531 U.S. 225 [121 S.Ct. 712; 148 L.Ed.2d 629]; Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 U.S. 466 [120 S.Ct. 2348; 147 L.Ed.2d 435].]

"Each fact which is essential to complete a set of circumstances necessary to establish the defendant's guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, before an inference essential to establish guilt may be found to have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, each fact or circumstance on which the inference necessarily rests must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt."

[See generally In re Winship (1970) 397 U.S. 358 [90 S.Ct. 1068; 25 L.Ed.2d 368]; People v. Carter (CA 1957) 48 Cal.2d 737, 758-59, 760-61 [312 P.2d 665]; see also California Jury Instructions - Criminal, CALJIC 2.01 [Sufficiency Of Circumstantial Evidence – Generally] ¶ 2 (West, 6th Ed. 1996).]

(Report Comment)
Mark Flakne August 5, 2011 | 1:41 p.m.

@John Smith: I hear what you are saying, but if Ferguson was convicted because the court accepted Erickson as a credible witness then the court should accept his recantation with the same merit.

If it is true that Erickson was out of his mind during the first trial, Ferguson should never have been convicted.

Either way, there is reasonable doubt as to Ferguson's involvement in the crime.

The fact of the matter is that in the U.S. Justice system and U.S. Court system in general, there is very little objectivity. It is an all out battle with a great deal of subjective gray area in the middle. The immunity given to prosecutors allows them to arm the state with all sorts of unscrupulous tactics (i.e. Kenny Hulshof). Knowing that the state is in for a no-holds-barred fight means that the defense must do the same. Knowing this, no one can fault Mr. Ferguson for attempting to discredit Erickson during the first trial.

There is also the distinct possibility that Erickson is a different person after a few years behind bars. He may be a credible witness now, but was not 10 years ago. Herein lies the subjective nature of justice. Kind of frightening isn't it?

(Report Comment)
Mark Flakne August 5, 2011 | 1:48 p.m.
(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 2:12 p.m.

@"I'll bet Delcia has an opinion about the Casey Anthony case, and that it was shaped entirely by media coverage."

I am one person who did not follow the case. I felt the same way I did about O.J. and the drama of it. I had better things to do than jump on a bandwagon of opinions and hand on every word the press said about that day and night. I do realize that O.J. later was convicted on a civil case, and that he was arrested and sent to prison for doing something illegal later. But I am not a big fan of what the press plays over and over. Sometimes, one just reaches the point where one says, "What else happened in the world today?"

Sooner or later, "You do the crime, you do the time."

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 2:14 p.m.

@"We have to try to be understanding towards ignorant people; they don't even have a clue that they are ignorant. Often times they believe they are the smartest people in the room while everyone else in the room is laughing at them. Makes you almost want to feel sorry for them when you think about it in that way...."

Some people are smart enough to never commit a felony. To commit a felony must take a great deal of ignorance on someone's part.

:)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 2:19 p.m.

@"Well the story does not seem to be lost on you, Delcia... It seems to have you talking to yourself.
Hubby must not be paying much attention to you today.......? LOL."

Actually, while it is raining he is gone to the minister's house to borrow a post hole digger, and we are getting some trellises in the backyard for the blackberry and gourd vines. Now, hope you are happy that you have update from Crockettland where Mr. and Mrs. Crockett love each other very much. At least I have a spouse who is very good around the house. Don't even want to think about what my life would be without him. How is your "significant other"? Oh, forget I asked. No important, because you probably ran her off, or she ran from you one. If she is still there, best wishes!

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 2:34 p.m.

@"Delcia, why don't you try attacking Prosecutor Kevin Crane for LYING rather than attaking Ryan Ferguson's family for trying to get their innocent son's story out? They didn't ask for any of this! If the media contacts the Fergusons, why would they turn them down? They want to get Ryan's story out there!! Their son is clearly innocent. Fortunately, the media HAS taken an interest in this case!! The truth is finally coming out."

Because that is not right to attack Mr. Crane for lying when you depend so heavily on your testimony from someone who you said has lied, and there is no way to prove that he is not lying now. If you had been able to prove that Mr. Crane were lying, then you would not be on here trying to convince me to do your dirty work for you.

The television station is only doing what television and radio stations have been doing for decades : if there is a program on their station that is going to be on later, they will PR it all day and all night, slipping it into other earlier programs and in ads that bullet into anything anyone might be watching all day.

What they are doing is marketing their program and their stations.

Ideally, journalists are not there to take sides or believe in innocence/guilt in an attempt to drive that biased side home to the viewing/reading audience - they are there to present the facts and let the viewer/reader decide. The opinion page is reserved for opinion.

In recent history, a form of journalism has taken on entertainment slant, and listeners/readers know the difference.

I am not the only one you have failed to convince, but I write on here, because I want to convey the thought that you have not convinced the courts, and those who know the truth and have worked hard on it, are not on here answering questions.

If you could have, you would have convinced those who do not agree with you - and if that makes you mean and ugly, then it just does.

Making up our minds in individual thinking is what has made America great, and it goes without saying a lot more people respect the courts, the police and our justice system, than those who do not.

Way it is, folks.

:)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 2:40 p.m.

@"Thank you, Ricky, for starting my Friday off with a laugh. It occurs to me that things haven't changed much over the past five years or so, and I'm not referring to the Ryan Ferguson business. :) On the other hand, is there any reason why we should EXPECT anything to change?"

Well, nothing is changed in the convincing anyone of the things that happened that night. And, I am referring to the murder business that went on trial and sent two people to prison for it. Most likely, you cannot expect any change on so many minds that the right people are in prison for it, no matter how entertainment value is placed on it, so you might as well not expect it, I suppose.

As far as you and Rick, why don't you two go to dinner somewhere?

:)

Hey, I didn't say Iraq!

(Report Comment)
Mark Flakne August 5, 2011 | 2:45 p.m.

Hey Delcia, How about lying police?

http://www.freeryanferguson.com/pdfs/exh...

And was your beloved Mr. Crane really relying on testimony, or was he manufacturing it?

http://www.freeryanferguson.com/pdfs/exh...

http://www.freeryanferguson.com/pdfs/exh...

Even the police know how to manufacture evidence...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCyKnc1BV...

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 5, 2011 | 2:46 p.m.

Score one for me; it does seem that I have gotten someone's panties in a bunch. hehehehe.

Bet hubby is out with his "post hole digger" digging someone's hole. I can understand him wanting to "get out of the house" for a while.....

Ricky B. Gurley

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 2:48 p.m.

@"Columbia Tribune Managing Editor Jim Robertson wouldn't
>comment on the merits of the case against Ferguson.
How does he keep his job then??"

A lot of people have a great deal of respect for Mr. Robertson, because he knows what a real journalist is. (Read above comment I made concerning what real journalism is.) He is not thin-skinned, and he cannot be pressured into commenting where he knows he should stand silent. He can, and always has been able to, take the pressure to hold his own and stay true to his profession of ethical journalism. He will be honest with/to anyone, but he will not cross the line of journalism ethics. That is to be admired and respected.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 2:51 p.m.

@"If it is true that Erickson was out of his mind during the first trial, Ferguson should never have been convicted."

Then, there why was this not proved during the trial, and now after eight lawyers we are still on the same sticky tack of no go?

You cannot blame the police, the courts or anyone who disagrees with you for what you have failed to convince anyone toward.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 2:56 p.m.

@"Score one for me; it does seem that I have gotten someone's panties in a bunch. hehehehe.

Bet hubby is out with his 'post hole digger' digging someone's hole. I can understand him wanting to "get out of the house" for a while....."

Well, he's back now. No gone so long and I knew where he was every minute, and he is digging the holes for the trellises because he wants to do that for me. Looks as if you have dug a hole you cannot get out of.

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 2:57 p.m.

@"Hey Delcia, How about lying police?"

Well, I declare, look what your linked source turns out to be.

Got anything from the NY Times?

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 3:10 p.m.

@"The story is not about the family's belief that either one or two slightly built youths attacked a hulking athlete and won a lengthy fight."

In all the photos, there is no resemblance to these two figures being helpless, slight-of-build or disabled in any way. If you look closely, you will see strong hands and young, capable limbs. And, make that two to one, and the two were "under the influence" by that time that night while the editor had the disadvantage of being caught off guard and tired after working his hours on the job. He was ready to go home and go to sleep - where the two strong ones "under the influence" should have been - at home asleep. If there were a lengthy fight and he lost, as you suggest, then it is only because he was totally not expecting to be attacked at a time that he so routinely went home and called it a night.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 5, 2011 | 3:11 p.m.

At least the poor guy did get somewhat of a break....... LOL.

Ricky B. Gurley

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 5, 2011 | 3:12 p.m.

@"At least the poor guy did get somewhat of a break....... LOL."

Go to dinner and take Ellis with you.

: )

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 5, 2011 | 3:20 p.m.

Someone seems to have dug themselves a rather deep hole.

An old Polish proverb says that when a person finds they've dug themselves down into a hole the preferred way to reverse the situation is to first stop digging.

(Report Comment)
Mark Flakne August 5, 2011 | 3:21 p.m.

"Well, I declare, look what your linked source turns out to be."

A sworn affidavit.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 5, 2011 | 3:59 p.m.

Mark,

An old "Ricky Proverb": "Arguing with an intentionally ignorant person is the very essence of an exercise in futility".....

Well, I am off to serve some papers. Have a "hoppy" day, Delcia....

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Molly Tarleton August 5, 2011 | 6:36 p.m.

Delcia please... find a new hobby. I don't know what your beef is with the Fergusons but it must pretty serious given you spout the same crap regardless of what new evidence (or lack thereof) is discovered in this case. Your refusal to consider any viewpoint than your own reduces your credibility to zero. I'm only writing because I feel sorry for you and am hoping this will help. Do something different, please, you're embarrassing yourself. -- just a concerned citizen

(Report Comment)
Kellie Kotraba August 5, 2011 | 8:09 p.m.

As comments on this story continue, this is just a friendly reminder to keep our comments policy in mind. This is a space for open dialogue, and it's important that we keep the conversation respectful.

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/p/miss...

Thanks for joining the discussion.

Kellie Kotraba
Assistant News Editor
The Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Misty Ponce August 5, 2011 | 11:02 p.m.

@ Delia -"Some people are smart enough to never commit a felony. To commit a felony must take a great deal of ignorance on someone's part".

-Ryan was smart enough not to commit a felony.
-Ignorance comes in various forms.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 12:12 a.m.

@"An old Polish proverb says that when a person finds they've dug themselves down into a hole the preferred way to reverse the situation is to first stop digging."

Roots run deep when the hole is dug just right. Not, and the plant dies. Best to plant/transplant after a great rain, or make sure the roots are anchored in water at the bottom of the just-so hole in the good earth.

One can dig hole after hole and be the best of gardeners, tillers of the soil, good stewards of the land.

And, by the way, Mr. Crockett and I have a great white grape vine going and will have to dig holes for the arbor for it, and plan to add more Cayuga vines- but we will never make wine. We never consume wines or alcoholic beverages.

:)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 12:14 a.m.

@"A sworn affidavit."

youtube and the "Free him" site.

: )

No NY Times.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 12:23 a.m.

@An old 'Ricky Proverb': 'Arguing with an intentionally ignorant person is the very essence of an exercise in futility'.....

Well, I am off to serve some papers. Have a "hoppy" day, Delcia...."

Just for the record, the last time you took off on the "ignorant" stance and fired verbal ballistics in scatter shooting, I was not even talking about you when I commented on dealing with an irate person on a thread, long ago. I was talking about a place I worked and did not want to mention the name, but you assumed I was talking about you and you changed from daylight to dark immediately. I have always wanted to tell you that. You got so outspoken, in fact, that I decided I would reference someone else when cases of friends wanted an investigator. I have since recommended you, but have asked them not to mention my name to you, in the reference. You just don't know it. I have never assumed you were ignorant; but I do think you have knee-jerk reactions sometimes and can be a little outspoken. Make a federal case out of that, if you will. But that same outspokenness on your part can lead to some interesting discussions, if for no more than to disagree with you, or laugh with you. Just don't include me in your luncheons. I seldom eat out.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 12:29 a.m.

@"Delcia please... find a new hobby. I don't know what your beef is with the Fergusons but it must pretty serious given you spout the same crap regardless of what new evidence (or lack thereof) is discovered in this case. Your refusal to consider any viewpoint than your own reduces your credibility to zero. I'm only writing because I feel sorry for you and am hoping this will help. Do something different, please, you're embarrassing yourself. -- just a concerned citizen"

The point is, it is not just my viewpoint. Not embarrassed, at all, to bring it forth. Think that what some folks hold sacred is important enough to type out on here - and that negative connotations in an effort to coerce a different belief (the one you hold) has never swayed so many folks that you might think. If that is only the oar you have in the water, best head for shore. No fishing success here, or with the folks who have decided otherwise on this - no doubt.

: )

(Report Comment)
Jim Rothenberger August 6, 2011 | 12:32 a.m.

Just finished watching this story on Nightline and found myself very troubled by both the story and the evidence.

From the evidence, the bloody shoe prints that seemed to exclude Ryan and probably Chuck. The hair found in the victims hands exclude Ryan and probably Chuck. All that blood and no evidence in the car they were riding in. Bar closing at 1:30 and time of murder. Interviews with Chuck.

Why this story is so unsettling is that over my life I've had a recurring dream that I killed someone. I'm nearly 64 years old and this would have happened when I was a teenager. Fortunately there was no murder that correlates to my dreams. I grew up in an area that I can't even remember a murder until I was in college and the murderer was found within 2 or 3 weeks.

The reason I bring this up and am so fascinated by this case is that I'm glad there wasn't an unsolved murder in my area when these dreams started. All I can imagine is that if I was having that type dream knowing that I was in the area of the crime when it occurred, I may have felt the need to go in and talk to the police. Watching the interviews, I could have been convinced I was actually involved.

I don't believe either of these fellows were involved at all. Just one kid with a dream, a very bad one, and a legal system that wants to close cases. JMHO

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 12:38 a.m.

@"-Ryan was smart enough not to commit a felony.
-Ignorance comes in various forms."

Did I mention your guy in the comment I made? Or, was I generally speaking? True, this is a story about your guy, but a comment section like this can have all sorts of turns, and returns. Someone said once, "Ignorance is bliss." Maybe people are just happy to not have to know all the turns that a comment section can take. But then a lot of people who have a notion of it, will know. Rick knows a lot of people who have committed felonies through his job, and the comment was within his grasp. But Rick has never met me, and I have no felonies in my family, at all. That said, the humor on here is sometime dry and understated. You just have to get it, that's all.

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 12:45 a.m.

@Kellie Kotraba, Assistant News Editor, The Columbia Missourian

Thank you for your watchful eye. Rick and Ellis are just on a "rabbit chase" again, and the others are just stating opinions. I don't take open discussions personally, and I have grown accustomed to dealing with a lot of different personalities over the course of a lifetime, including working with incarcerated youth. If it gets too mean, there is always the option to skip over and go on to discuss in a mature way beyond the meanness, as long as there is no identity theft or libel going on. That is not only serious, but illegal. Discussions can become very heated - but you are right, it should all be done with respect and a sense of good humor helps.

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 12:50 a.m.

@"Just finished watching this story on Nightline and found myself very troubled by both the story and the evidence."

Nothing new there and after a trial with jury, requests for new trials denied, and eight lawyers later - still nothing new.

Evidence-wise, or otherwise.

: )

(Report Comment)
Sarah Lechtanski August 6, 2011 | 1:25 a.m.

Hi, although I am not a resident of Missouri, I am perplexed with this case, as just recently viewed on Dateline. I find so many holes in the case in parts of the prosecutor, the eyewitnesses, and especially Charles. In my opinion, Charles Erickson is a pathological liar. I don't know if whatever was coming out of his mouth was the truth, or some bull to get himself some attention. Although that can't certainly help Ryan, I hope that Ryan, his parent's and his legal help, can one day free him. Just an opinion of mine.

(Report Comment)
Dorothy Herman August 6, 2011 | 1:29 a.m.

I think the reason this particular case resonates with people is because it shows that anytime, any of us can be wrongly accused of a crime - based on someone's dream no less, and witnesses who were shown photos of Ryan in advance. This is not justice. Justice is TRUTH. And that is what the police and our courts should be looking for.

(Report Comment)
Jamie Moncol August 6, 2011 | 1:30 a.m.

First of all...I too, found humor in all of the previous comments by you, Delcia. And you are right...there is no "new" evidence. There is only the invalidated testimony of the only two prosecution witnesses who meant anything at the time. Just because a prosecutor put on a show in front of a jury who was taken in by biased testimony, doesn't mean that the jury was able to come to a just verdict. I suppose you believe Casey Anthony is innocent too... right???? As far as the family fighting to prove their son's/brother's innocence, I admire them! If every parent in America felt so strongly for his/her child, we would have a much better world. What would YOU do Delcia, if your child, brother, sister, parent, or just someone you loved was convicted of a crime they did not commit??? I hope it never happens to you....Karma is not kind!

(Report Comment)
J S August 6, 2011 | 1:46 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
j n August 6, 2011 | 1:56 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ricky Gurley August 6, 2011 | 3:30 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Dorothy Herman August 6, 2011 | 4:07 a.m.

Perhaps this is a good time to thank the people at The Innocence Project - like Barry Scheck who have spent their law careers exonerating wrongly convicted men and women in prison through DNA testing. To date, they have exonerated 273 who were wrongly convicted and served an average of 13 years behind bars - some were on death row.

I would rather see a guilty man go free than an innocent man wrongly convicted of a crime they didn't do. I hope you agree because otherwise, our justice system is in trouble.

(Report Comment)
Lorie Anderson August 6, 2011 | 4:24 a.m.

Here is what I just wrote to Missouri's attorney general and governor:

"I just watched the Dateline expose on Ryan Ferguson's false arrest, conviction and imprisonment, and it is absolutely revolting to see how the legal system failed and continues to fail this innocent man and his family.

It is an insult to all Americans that in the land of the free a murder conviction and imprisonment can result largely from someone coming forward with a dream and false memories (and/or lies) that he witnessed a murder, exploited by prosecutors who allowed their drive to win a case to trump pursuit of the truth, facts and hard evidence.

Thanks to Dateline, everyone in the country now knows that Ryan Ferguson was completely innocent, and everyone knows who really deserves to be prosecuted and imprisoned in this case, and it is not poor Mr. Ferguson, and probably not even his former friend/accuser who appears to suffer from severe mental confusion. Those who manipulated the accuser and other witnesses and the legal system just to win a case are the ones who should be punished for the pain they caused this man and his family.

Please do what you can to free this innocent man from prison without delay!"

(Report Comment)
Sherry Kicenski August 6, 2011 | 4:46 a.m.

Perhaps this is a good time to thank the people at The Innocence Project - like Barry Scheck who have spent their law careers exonerating wrongly convicted men and women in prison through DNA testing. To date, they have exonerated 273 who were wrongly convicted and served an average of 13 years behind bars - some were on death row.

I'm sorry, but Barry Scheck is doing much deserved pennance for being a huge reason why OJ Simpson got away with butchering 2 people. I can't quite feel the need to thank this lawyer. I still can hardly stand the sight of B. Scheck!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 6, 2011 | 6:59 a.m.

Unlike our resident expert I don't pretend to be knowledgeable about the Ferguson matter, but it seems to me that a new trial would be appropriate under the circumstances. Then perhaps everyone can move on. Well, almost everyone.

As for the small furor raised by some posts here, for the benefit of new participants, this is nothing unusual. It's been played out over several years at different times and with different topics and in different venues as well as different names for those posting. It follows a depressingly predictable pattern.

Ricky, maybe we should get together for dinner sometime. I'm sure we can find something to discuss. :)

(Report Comment)
Meagan Haupt August 6, 2011 | 7:35 a.m.

I don't understand why the judicial boys club cares more about its own reputation than the truth. I'm so tired of selfishness. What the American people have learned from Judicial system so far, if your going to commit a heinous crime do it in Florida, if you're innocent of a crime in Missouri tuff the police force needs their doughnuts and your case is running into coffee break. Like a casino the house wins even if they cheat!

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 6, 2011 | 7:49 a.m.

It is about that time, isn't it Ellis? Perhaps in the next week or so? And let's not forget; Delcia has practically begged us to get together for a meal on here.

Our discussions are always so "lively" too. We should invite some of the others here to lunch also; like: Jamie Moncol, Misty Ponce, Molly Tarleton, and Lynn Ayers; if they are local and can make it. I am sure they would benefit from our discussions, and if nothing else have some laughs with us. Expand our "village" a little...

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 6, 2011 | 12:36 p.m.

@ Ricky:

I'm all for expansion, as long as it doesn't involve the national debt. :)

I won't be available on August 10th and 11th; otherwise, any day is good for me.

(Report Comment)
P. Birmingham August 6, 2011 | 12:56 p.m.

Watching the Ryan Ferguson story on Dateline made me "EXTREMELY" angry. I'm SO SICK AND TIRED of hearing about "strong" evidence being presented to courts/judges/prosecutors for a new trial (after conviction) and they reject the evidence. It's as if they don't care that they have potentially ruined an innocent man's life.

If I were a judge or prosecutor who found out that an innocent man may have been wrongly convicted, I'd immediately investigate to correct the problem.

Clearly, there is more than enough evidence to grant Mr. Ferguson a new trial. To convict him on the testimony of 2 people pointing fingers at him is appalling.

I feel so sorry for all the people currently sitting in prison for crimes they didn't commit. I suspect it may be in the thousands. Our judicial system is clearly lacking credibility in convicting the right people.

My prayers go out to Ryan Ferguson for being caught up in this nightmare and for the Kent Heitholt's family for not having proper resolution to their loss.

(Report Comment)
Shanna Runyan August 6, 2011 | 1:33 p.m.

How can anyone ignore all the points brought up by Ryan Ferguson's dad and Dateline?

Also, what is the point of Delcia letting everyone know she would never make wine or drink alcoholic beverages? Every post she made had me feeling the need to bang my head against a wall. I hate when someone isays something so silly it actually causes the listener/reader pain.

(Report Comment)
Kimberly Fannon August 6, 2011 | 2:29 p.m.

I hate injustice more than anything in this world and to see this young man in jail with absolutely NO EVIDENCE is completely insane. He needs a new trial with competent counsel this time. He shouldn't be sitting in prison on Eric's word alone (no physical evidence). The kind of railroading done in this case doesn't reflect well on homicide detectives as a group. Makes me wonder if they just want to close a case file or whether they are really interested in the truth. . . .

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 6:19 p.m.

@"In my opinion, Charles Erickson is a pathological liar. I don't know if whatever was coming out of his mouth was the truth, or some bull to get himself some attention."

But everyone is expected to believe him now and hang the case on it?

When 1 and 1 = 2?
: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 6:24 p.m.

@I think the reason this particular case resonates with people is because it shows that anytime, any of us can be wrongly accused of a crime -"

And, our alibi would be that we would not be enamored so with an already illegal act, but would have the place of our whereabouts firmly stated/proved. That also resonates with people who are never investigated for a crime. Because they are in a civil, quiet place and not breaking the law. Also, most people respect the police and do not become argumentative with them, at any time. They ask how they can help the officer, if approached, and they can readily explain any alibi needed. It would not enter their mind to be "cocky" to any authority figure.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 6:28 p.m.

@"Ryan Ferguson and his family are the ones with who've been living the REAL nightmare."

Weren't they asleep when the "nightmare" for all others began though - the night of the murder? Well, all but the sibling who is said to have plied the underage "boy" with illegal alcoholic beverages.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 6:39 p.m.

@"Your postings are probably not having the effect that you seem to think they are..."

Where in your credentials do you list "mind reader"? You certainly have not read my mind. To uphold law and order and support a court decision is hardly seeking an "effect." I never base my thoughts on what others think or try to pressure me into with negative connotation. I did not even bow to that sort of peer action as an adolescent. Most certainly not now.

A trial. And 8 lawyers. And no firm alibi on the night of the murder. But was already acting in an illegal manner by being in a certain place at a certain time prior to the murder. I did not do that to your guy. I am just stating what is convincing in this case, and no one has proved otherwise. Nothing new. That's it.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 6:45 p.m.

@"Not By Power, Not by Might...."

Please try to keep up. That was years ago.

As to your not needing any more clients, maybe that word will spread, since it is you who said it.

:)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 6:49 p.m.

@"Unlike our resident expert I don't pretend to be knowledgeable about the Ferguson matter, but it seems to me that a new trial would be appropriate under the circumstances."

They have really, really tried on that one, huh?

Heard there might be a movie deal, and someone was wondering who would play "the boy who didn't do it." Seriously.

Maybe that will be more in line for you than expecting a serious judicial process to commit. Look at the track record already.

:)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 6:53 p.m.

@"Also, what is the point of Delcia letting everyone know she would never make wine or drink alcoholic beverages? Every post she made had me feeling the need to bang my head against a wall. I hate when someone isays something so silly it actually causes the listener/reader pain."

Not "everyone." It was directed at Ellis who is someone knowledgeable about grapes and wine making. What does your comment have to do with the topic either? Take an aspirin and stop reading my posts. Problem solved for you.

:)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 6:55 p.m.

@"He needs a new trial with competent counsel this time."

Eight lawyers in a row weren't competent? Will 800 in a row be then, when they still cannot make the case for the defense sound enough?

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 6:56 p.m.

@"It is about that time, isn't it Ellis? Perhaps in the next week or so? And let's not forget; Delcia has practically begged us to get together for a meal on here."

And, when did you ever listen to me?

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 6, 2011 | 7:05 p.m.

@"I won't be available on August 10th and 11th; otherwise, any day is good for me."

That's nice. You and Rick have a great time - and anyone else who wants to join you will have a great time, too, I am sure. Even if I were to seriously consider the invitation extended long ago, I could not attend this time. August the 11th is Hub's 77th birthday, and we already have a plan for the folks who will be at his gathering and for most of the week, as a result of his celebration. I do enjoy reading about your luncheons though, when you are not dissing someone. That part I just skip over. Enjoy your time! We all have our friends, and just as it should be, as where would we be without them?

: )

(Report Comment)
j n August 6, 2011 | 7:25 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
frank christian August 6, 2011 | 9:49 p.m.

JN - Many thanks to YOU!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 6, 2011 | 9:53 p.m.

jn: That's ok. I reported yours, too.

You didn't use your real name, which is in violation of the rules you love and admire and support.

Delcia cannot "usurp" the conversation so long as you and I can post in this thread. Which you did. And me. Indeed, as long as I have been posting here, I have yet to get a busy signal which I hit the "Post Comment" button.

The only thing that's happened is your scroll finger had a hissy fit.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 6, 2011 | 11:39 p.m.

Well that is just the problem here... Grown people that can't address a topic frankly, because they are "babies" that have such "thin skin" that they hit the report button on a post like a third grade hall monitor that goes "snitching" to the Principal...

I don't think I have ever in my life reported a person for posting on here; not even if I thought I was "personally attacked".

Have you ever seen those Subway commercials, where you have those grown men and women talking like little children while trying to convince the guy with the Subway sandwich to give them a bite? I think it is Subway that does those commercials? I actually know someone of you, and I look at you and see a person in an adult body, talking like a little child on here.

What do you do in "real life"; run to the CPD and try to make a complaint when someone says something you don't like?

Well, it has been nice; but it is time to leave the "Missourian Day Care Center" with all of the "wittle babies"; and move onto a forum where the grown ups post and don't feel the need to run to the babysitter because someone has posted something they did not like. Enjoy the rest of the thread, I'll be back to check and make sure everyone has their bottles in a month or so. Take care, and make sure you have your coloring books and crayons before I go...

As for us grown ups; Ellis call me or have John call me and let's set up our lunch meeting in the near future.

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 7, 2011 | 12:21 a.m.

#1 I would say to anyone in person, what I have written on here. Basically, by placing commentary on here, and signing my name to it, I am in "person."

#2. I have not reported anyone, as often as anyone has disagreed with me or as many, and often in negative connotation in commentary, instead of actual discussion.

Simple reason: none of this is libel or identity theft; therefore it does not break online ethics to other posters.

I post in response to any post in the line manner, because that is when I am on. If the topic interests me, then I post in response in the line manner, when I am on. And time goes by, until I am on again - sometimes hours, sometimes a day, sometimes days, and sometimes as much as a week.

Another reason I do not report posters is that anyone can make the choice to read or not to read any post. Anyone can skip over any part, or pull out quote on any selected part wanting to respond towards.

If the dialogue is to remain open, one who reports should consider that all personalities will not be the same, and all writing styles are not the same. What might grate on one person's nerves might just be what gets another writer inspired or involved in the dialogue.

I agree with Michael and Rick here, and in other places and times, we have not always agreed in discussions on various topics. That is the option on a forum, agree or not agree.

That said, it is the editor's option to pull (or not to pull) comments, and some of us can take the heat of the discussion better than others, and give our thoughts honestly without having to give up our right to speak, based on someone not liking what we said, because they do not agree with us.

A lot of people feel the way I have expressed thoughts here, but one reason they might not get on here and say so, is because they do not want to deal with the negative connotation.

I can not be untrue to convictions of my heart and mind, just because you want the forum to discussion to all go one way.

No one should have to do that. Ever.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 7, 2011 | 12:49 a.m.

And I have a policy about people who post, no matter how ignorant or idiotic their posts are...

I call it my "Old 97s Policy"..

There is a group that I like named "The Old 97s", love all of their songs actually.. But there is one in particular that I have based my policy on; below are the title and lyrics to the song:

------------------------------------------------------------
LET THE IDIOT SPEAK:

There was a half a harvest moon up on the hillside
Our love is made almost entirely of downside
Who would have thought it could feel so much better then?
Now there's a half a million things I wanna tell you
They tap the phone line and the speaker at the drive thru
Who would have thought it could feel so much different then?

Downtown, so weak
Let the idiot speak
Let the idiot speak
Let the idiot speak

Now there's strange way and awkward feelings
I'm bouncing off the wall, I'm talking to the ceilings
Who would have thought it could feel so bad sometimes?
Now there's a half a million reasons we can argue
You're right in front of me now and there's no one to talk to
Who would have thought it could feel so bad sometimes?

Downtown, so weak
Let the idiot speak
Let the idiot speak
Let the idiot speak
Let the idiot speak
Let the idiot speak
Let the idiot speak

(Solo)

Downtown, so weak
Let the idiot speak (Let the idiot speak)
Let the idiot speak (Let the idiot speak)
Let the idiot speak
Let the idiot speak (Let the idiot speak)
Let the idiot speak (Let the idiot speak)
Let the idiot speak
Let the idiot speak (Let the idiot speak)
Let the idiot speak (Let the idiot speak)
Let the idiot
------------------------------------------------------------
Link To The Song On YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpFpGMKY6...

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 7, 2011 | 1:10 a.m.

And, in public discourse: what is one person's idiot is another person's genius.

Consider Abraham Lincoln and how many times he was defeated in public office pursuit - until, at last, he was elected in just the one for which he was most treasured.

Edison found the one way the electric light bulb would work, and brought the world out of darkness, after having to go through many ways it failed.

Can you blame those who do not give up, when they really believe in something?

It is just what some believe in, others do not.

If the shoe fits, wear it, Rick.

: )

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 7, 2011 | 1:13 a.m.

Have you been to the YouTube link and looked at the site and listened to the song, Delcia? hehehehehehe...

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 7, 2011 | 1:17 a.m.

Aren't the lyrics enough to give one the gist of link?

Thought you were going to be gone a month:

@"Enjoy the rest of the thread, I'll be back to check and make sure everyone has their bottles in a month or so."

:)

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 7, 2011 | 1:20 a.m.

This is funny.. You REALLY should go to the link and look at the site and listen to the song.... LMAO!

I am having a little too much fun to leave right now....

Now, give me a few minutes, Delcia; I am in my bedroom dancing and playing the "Air Guitar" to "your song"....

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 7, 2011 | 1:27 a.m.

Well, "you grown."

It is nearly 1:30A.M. and I need to go to sleep because I got a long day ahead tomorrow. See you in church?

Take care and good night.

God bless.

:)

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 7, 2011 | 4:42 a.m.

The "Bunny & Clyde" show ("Bunny & Clem" show? "Bunny & Bunny" show? "Bunny & Lonesome Dove" show?) is entertaining, but I believe the topic here is Ryan Ferguson and his attempts to get a hearing. Seldom have I seem the life so completely sucked out of a topic as has happened here. We won't get into who did the sucking, or post jokes about how much the entire situation sucks.

Poster "jn" can get back into the Missourian's good graces by simply going back to the registration procedure and submitting his/her real first and last name. Hell! There are almost certainly people posting now who are not using their real first and last names. There are likely people posting under two or more names. That's not illegal, but one has to wonder why anyone would do it.

Poster "jn" has TWO posts on this topic. I've re-read the other post. It's all too seldom these days one reads coherent English prose, so I encourage "jn" to consider proper registration.

Another old Polish proverb says that if a person exhibits a compulsion to hang himself it may be unwise to allow him access to rope. On the other hand, if you WANT him to hang himself, give him plenty of rope. (So there's no confusion, I am not referring to poster "jn.")

(Report Comment)
Jim Rothenberger August 7, 2011 | 7:05 a.m.

@And, our alibi would be that we would not be enamored so with an already illegal act, but would have the place of our whereabouts firmly stated/proved. That also resonates with people who are never investigated for a crime. Because they are in a civil, quiet place and not breaking the law. Also, most people respect the police and do not become argumentative with them, at any time. They ask how they can help the officer, if approached, and they can readily explain any alibi needed. It would not enter their mind to be "cocky" to any authority figure.

I wonder how many people could tell you where they were on a particular day at a particular hour two years after the fact? I'm not sure I could even when my memory was pretty good years ago. Plus I always thought our system was based on a premise of innocent until proven guilty. In other words, it needs to be proven that the accused did something rather than the accused proving he didn't.

From my view, this trial was decided on two bits of "evidence", a young man confused by a dream and intimidation by police to stand and point his finger at the defendant and a convicted sex offender doing the same. Both these men have recanted their testimony which should be enough to get a new trial.

@But everyone is expected to believe him now and hang the case on it?

When 1 and 1 = 2?

I don't believe you can believe him in either case. I personally don't believe he knows reality from fiction. Remember, he dreamed that it happened, the police translated his dream into what they could use to fit their evidence and firmly insisted that if he didn't fit his dream into their model he would suffer the full extent of the law.

The one thing I know is that I shall never sit on a jury. I've never much cared for lawyers and now sat through two criminal cases where I had only a mild interest. There is little attempt to get to the underlying truth with most emphasis on winning.

Watching those two on the stand would probably have convinced me that Ryan was guilty, they were impressive and obviously well rehearsed. However, I suppose you need well schooled witnesses when there is no physical evidence.

I'm expecting that this case will have to leave Missouri before it has a chance of being seriously looked at. The good ole boys club seems alive and well and they really need to protect your own.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks August 7, 2011 | 7:28 a.m.

Delcia Crockett August 7, 2011 | 1:10 a.m.

Edison found the one way the electric light bulb would work, and brought the world out of darkness, after having to go through many ways it failed.

Rewriting history I see. Many would prefer to believe that it was Nikola Tesla that brought the world out of darkness. He was also responsible for many of his own inventions compared to the guy mentioned above who ran a sweat shop and claimed every invention for his own. Very similar to the way Colleges and Universities do today.

(Report Comment)
Jim Rothenberger August 8, 2011 | 9:16 a.m.

Does anyone know if Dennis Mallory testified in the trial?

(Report Comment)
Bill Ferguson August 8, 2011 | 10:47 a.m.

Jim Rothenberger
Dallas Mallory did not testify in Ryan's trial as Prosecutor Crane did not want the jury to hear what he had to say.

However he did testify during Ryan's 29.15 Hearing in 2008.
Below is a link to his sworn testimony.
Now we know why Prosecutor Crane did not call this alleged eye witness to the stand during Ryan's trial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyp0w57EB...

(Report Comment)
Bill Ferguson August 8, 2011 | 11:10 a.m.

Prosecutor Crane's only two witnesses have turned on him. Jerry Trump and Charles Erickson have both provided sworn affidavits clearing stating they lied under oath during Ryan Ferguson Trial in 2005.

That Prosecutor Crane aided and abetted in their false testimony.
This is the only evidence that was ever produced by Prosecutor Crane to convict Ryan.

Now we know it was orchestrated lies conducted by Prosecutor Crane that convicted Ryan.

Soon Prosecutor Crane now Judge Crane will have to take off his cherished black robes be sworn in and take the stand in Cole County to explain his conduct before and after Ryan's trial.

Crane's two star witnesses Charles Erickson and Jerry Trump will be taking the stand as well and telling their story. A story of how Prosecutor Crane aided and abetted their false testimony.

It may be time for Judge Crane to consider stepping down as a Judge until this matter is resolved. How can the public have confidence in his judgment?

(Report Comment)
Jim Rothenberger August 8, 2011 | 12:37 p.m.

Thanks Bill, the more I read and learn, the more it's obvious that the train has left the station, but that's railroading I guess.

(Report Comment)
Rick Wolf August 8, 2011 | 12:55 p.m.

@John Smith: "Fast forward 7 years and now that Check's testimony will help Ryan, suddenly Ryan's father is pushing that Erickson should be trusted and his word should be believed."

You're mischaracterizing the situation. Ryan's father does not maintain that Chuck was lying then and is telling the truth now; in fact, in Chuck's recantation, he still maintains that Ryan was present but was a non-participant in the murder. What the Ferguson's have maintained consistently is that Chuck has no idea what happened at the murder scene because neither he nor Ryan were present. Chuck's original "confession," in which he failed to get basic facts right bears that out.

(Report Comment)
Connie Sullivan August 8, 2011 | 2:23 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Bill Ferguson August 8, 2011 | 2:43 p.m.

Rick Wolf
Is correct we have always said we do not think Chuck or Ryan were in the Tribune parking lot the night of the murder. We never believed Chuck's testimony during Ryan's trial and see no reason to believe him now. His story has changed each time he his spoken. The day of the arrest, March 10, 2004, his plea October 1, 2004, his deposition June 2005, the trial October 2005, and his video 2009. Chuck has no idea what happen that night. The medical records show he was having black outs. It seems Prosecutor Crane took advantage of Chuck and his parents to get Chuck to take a plea agreement to avoid a Death Sentence.
We look forward to seeing Charles Erickson, Jerry Trump and Judge Crane testify in Cole County during the up coming Habeas Hearing.

Along with Michael Boyd as he explains what is the true story is of his 6 changing stories. What happen to his blue Olds the one he said he traded in for a different car with Enterprise Car Rentals considering the Missouri Department of Revenue affidavit #35 still has Michael Boyd as the owner of the Blue Olds.

(Report Comment)
Bill Ferguson August 8, 2011 | 2:48 p.m.

Connie Sullivan
Good point lets stay with finding the truth and making sure justice is done.
I look forward to discussing this case with members of the public its a good excerise for all of us.
I try not to say anything unless I can document my comments hope this has been the case.

(Report Comment)
Connie Sullivan August 8, 2011 | 3:25 p.m.

Thank you, Mr. Ferguson. I read this to keep up with what is going on with the case. I think posting "hehehehe" (seriously?) and stupid YouTube songs detracts from the serious debate the subject matter deserves.

When is the next ruling expected?

(Report Comment)
Dee Grayson August 8, 2011 | 6:22 p.m.

First things first: Ryan should definitely get a new trial.

And I don't know if this will work for anyone else, but it's worked wonders for me:

Every time I see the name Delcia Crockett as a poster, I scroll right by. Yes, I *ignore* her posts. I've found that people who relentlessly post cyclical thoughts and disagree for what seems to be the SAKE of disagreeing just want attention. *Ignore* seems to work quite well in events such as these.

For instance, when she quotes me and then responds to that quote, I'll take the advice I just gave: I'll pretend like she doesn't exist. She'll go away eventually.

Besides, this is about Ryan Ferguson and how he's obviously been railroaded. I've never heard of a people being convicted of a crime based on a dream. Huh? When I first heard that on Dateline, I was scratching my head in utter disbelief. The police and the prosecutor obviously intimidated some folk and I'm hoping the judge now reviewing the case doesn't punk out and deny Ryan the retrial he so deserves.

(Report Comment)
Bill Ferguson August 8, 2011 | 6:24 p.m.

Tomorrow morning in Cole County Court Judge Green will rule on the date of the Habeas Hearing I am guessing sometime in October but really I have no idea.
I will report on the Hearing tomorrow night.
Thanks for your interest.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 8, 2011 | 6:34 p.m.

"It is nice to see that you have "remembered me" again....."

WhatACrock!

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 8, 2011 | 6:53 p.m.

Frank Christian, another glaring testament to my "Old 97s Policy"..

"Let the Idiot Speak"....

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 8, 2011 | 7:19 p.m.

(Sigh) And I had hoped we left this nationwide jury-tainting exercise behind at the Trib when we posters came here.

And a bunch of folks are posting under assumed names here...the same ones with pseudonyms at the Trib. It would be interesting to know who the players are....and why the need not to identify themselves properly. The unorganized organization is....somewhat unusual.

Oh well....the right guys are still behind bars. Maybe society will get lucky and that situation will remain so.

Off to bigger and better things........grandkids.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 8, 2011 | 7:36 p.m.

The idiot speaks...

Missourian Comments Policy

2. Comments containing personal attacks;... are prohibited.

5. Comments are to be used only for noncommercial purposes. You may not solicit funds or promote commercial entities.

Have you made arrangements with Missourian to use this vehicle for debt collection?

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 8, 2011 | 8:33 p.m.

Rick - "Now run along.." We all may as well when you start posting. You made allegations and insinuations about a former client and you admittedly don't even know to whom you are writing. In my opinion you were attacking her, not me.

"would you please bring your checkbook? I do have an outstanding invoice for you from over 2 1/2 yeas ago.. I did not add interest,". I guess I am simple. I somehow thought you were asking her for payment of an old debt.

I accepted the "idiot" label from you to indicate I don't care what you call me. I do have an inherent problem tho. When I hear or read, as in this case, total nonsense, I'm compelled to respond. It's nothing personal.

(Report Comment)
Laura Johnston August 8, 2011 | 8:38 p.m.

Folks: I've removed some comments in this thread that appear to be in violation of our policy. Please remember to be civil in your conversations and that we require first and last names in your post.

Thanks,
Laura Johnston, Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Dee Grayson August 8, 2011 | 8:52 p.m.

Shall we now shift the focus *back* to Ryan?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 8, 2011 | 10:33 p.m.

Dee,

What is left to focus on? Anyone with just a "lick of sense" knows that Ryan at the very least deserves a new trial. I don't think there is anything that can be said about this case that has not been said at least a hundred times already.

The most likely scenario here is that Ryan is not going to get the justice he deserves until this case comes out of the Missouri courts and moves into the higher courts. The fact is that the state of Missouri can't afford too many more wrongful convictions in the media. Our laws are starting to look Draconian and biased in favor of the Prosecution to the entire world. I am not even sure the state of Missouri could afford the lawsuit that Ryan will have once it is proven that he was wrongly convicted. And our Judges here in Missouri are painfully aware of this.

I think the attraction of this topic now is that people can come here and "clash" on the topic. It now seems to be more about that small group of people that believe the Police and the Prosecution can do no wrong, and that if they believe a person is guilty, then that person is guilty against a larger group of people that are now seeing from watching the media, that the Police and the Prosecution does not always "get it right".

It is no longer a secret that Ryan should have never been charged, much less convicted on what seemed for some reason to pass as "evidence" in his case. But what can we discuss here that has not already been discussed hundreds of times before in the media?

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 9, 2011 | 7:51 a.m.

R. Gurly - I bow to Dee Grayson. If I wanted to contact you I would first look under "Perry Mason".

(Report Comment)
Walter Lane August 9, 2011 | 8:46 a.m.

After coming across some Frontline documentaries last night, I think those of the "the jury found him guilty", "I "know" he is guilty" crowd should watch the documentaries. It may open your eyes quite wide. In one of them a man who had an airtight alibi with plenty of witnesses was still charged and convicted. As far as Ryans case goes, based on "evidence" alone, he never should have been convicted.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 9, 2011 | 9:23 a.m.

You'd probably have a tough time contacting me anyway, Frank.. You can't even spell my name right, even when it is spelled out for you....

I was just trying to offer you a way to keep you from looking like a "Dipstick" on here; but I'd imagine that really is not a concern for you.....

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Cheyenne Greene August 9, 2011 | 9:54 a.m.

I hope there is an update here today. I want to see Crane and cronies loose control of lower jaw! It makes me sick to see some idiots support such an injustice! Delcia, your ego and Cranes are taking up precious airspace!

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 9, 2011 | 10:12 a.m.

R. G u r l e y. Just tend to your own image, son. I can handle mine.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 9, 2011 | 10:17 a.m.

R. Gurley - Just tend to your own image, son. I can handle mine.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 9, 2011 | 11:05 a.m.

Okay, "pops"...

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Dawn Durell August 9, 2011 | 1:35 p.m.

Michael Boyd absolutely should have been questioned and looked at as a suspect since HE was the last person to see
the victim alive.....Why are there sooo many ignorant people???? There is absolutely NO evidence that Ryan or Chuck had anything to do with this tragedy...Yet they sit in prison and the murderer is walking around free and living life large...

(Report Comment)
Connie Sullivan August 9, 2011 | 2:32 p.m.

08/09/2011 Hearing Scheduled

Scheduled For: 10/25/2011; 9:00 AM ; DANIEL RICHARD GREEN; Cole Circuit

Counsel Status Hearing Held
State appears by AGA Hawke;
Petitioner appears by Atty Zellner; cause set for hearing on Counts 1 2, & 3 beginning on 10-25-11 at 9 am through 10-28-11.

Parties to commence discovery. Hearing to begin at 1:30 on 10-26-11 due to criminal call docket in Div 2. DRG/rd

Scheduled For: 08/09/2011; 10:30 AM;

DANIEL RICHARD GREEN; Cole Circuit

(Report Comment)
Cheyenne Greene August 9, 2011 | 2:46 p.m.

Thank you Connie!

(Report Comment)
Bob Bacon August 11, 2011 | 9:21 a.m.

I have talked to Bill Ferguson about what I have to say about this case. The day the Columbia Police questioned Dallas Mallory, who I have known for over 20 years and who lived across the street from me, came home very upset. My daughter happened to talk to Dallas and came home utterly dumbfounded to learn that the police believed that Ferguson and Erickson were the two who murdered Kent Heithold. I spoke to Dallas that afternoon and he related to me how he had been threatened by the Columbia Police with arrest if he didn't cooraborate Erickson's story that both Erickson and Ferguson ran into him after committing the crime. At the time Dallas Mallory's drivers license was revoked and he didn't own a car. I advised Dallas to speak to an atorney. Dallas was approached by Kevin Crane on several occassions when he tried to put enormous pressure on Dallas to corroborate Erickson's story. Dallas refused to change his recollection of that night. I advised Dallas to obtain an attorney and file charges of Prosecutorial misconduct and subborning perjury charges with the Attorney General's office and ask for an investigation of Crane. That folks is what we are looking at here. I believe that in time Kevin Crane is going to be facing charges of his own. He had enormous pressure to get a conviction in this case. Subborning perjury to convict an innocent man will cost him his license to practice law.

(Report Comment)
John Geare August 11, 2011 | 10:47 a.m.

I have seen the Dateline story and read as much as I can about this case. There is perhaps less evidence to convict Ferguson than there is to convict the police investigators and the very peculiar Kevin Crane who, I understand, is now a judge. What appears to be most disturbing is the question of who really killed Kent Heitholt - and why. So, now, a great deal of energy is being focused on proving what did NOT happen. And whether or not Ryan Ferguson is released, the question of what DID actually happen remains unsolved, and the killer is still free.

I would not be terribly surprised if that person or persons carefully reads every shred of information about the case, including this blog.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire August 11, 2011 | 11:20 a.m.

I noticed that the comment just made by Bob is the only comment here under that name. That causes me to believe that the piece of information that he just shared with the rest of us may actually be significant.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 11, 2011 | 12:09 p.m.

Someone has brought this up in a discussion, so I will place it on here, in all clarity for review of the reading public in thought: "in one of the statements made in a news story, it is said that Eric changed his story after the tapes were played back to him and he began to believe the police were leading him toward making the confession, when he placed he and Ryan at the scene." Who played the tapes to Eric? How many times were they played? Were the tapes played to him after he was in prison and folks were trying to get the new hearing for the convicted person? Did anyone try to convince Eric that his memory was not all that clear, and that he should change his story? What if someone requested hypnosis for Ryan? Would that clear him, or seal the case forever? Be honest in your answers, please.

And, how do you really think anyone feels when you take off on innocent people to take the attention off the one who was convicted of the killing - as you have done to the janitor and the memory of the murder victim? That was not nice of the lawyers or anyone who did that. That is a bullying in itself.

That proved nothing but trying to defer guilt to someone other than the accused, and it did not work to help your case in the minds of a lot of people who have read of your actions on this.

This is open debate and people have questions. Saying mean things about another poster matters little to me, even if that other poster - who is ragged on - happens to be me. I am not going to agree with something I don't believe in just because someone has to start being negative about someone he/she does not agree with while posting here. And, if you think I am a lone thinker on this disagreeing with you, then you are wrong on that, too.

Every question that is brought in on this to try to make a case for the convicted only leads to more questions and more doubt as to the innocence of these two people for folks whose thoughts are not, and never will be, dictate to by someone else.

Have a nice day, folks.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 11, 2011 | 12:27 p.m.

@"Many would prefer to believe that it was Nikola Tesla that brought the world out of darkness. He was also responsible for many of his own inventions compared to the guy mentioned above who ran a sweat shop and claimed every invention for his own. Very similar to the way Colleges and Universities do today."

Ah, that's good! Thanks for the smile this brought.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 11, 2011 | 12:46 p.m.

@"She'll go away eventually."

That's funny! Thanks for the laugh!

If you do not read a post, then the poster disappears completely from the Missourian for all time?

: )

Though I am not online all the time, I do read the Missourian and am one of its most faithful fans of daily readers. So, if I read something in the print version that is in home delivery, then I would be online a little later to post about it if so inspired - or not, if not. However, your not reading what any poster puts on here is entirely up to you, and serves to solve only your personal problem/issue. Anyone else is free to agree/disagree right along if the editor finds nothing that breaks the rules of conduct specified on here. Someone disagreeing with you, or asking questions that are in open discussion all over the place, do not meet the category of breaking rules, no matter how much you would want to wish them away.

For the most part, I read all posts on topics I am interested in, once I am online, so that I skip in commenting on the things within a post that take focus from what I want to say about the topic. That is to say, I am interested in the topic, not if someone is ragging on someone else or not.

Like most folks on here do, if you will notice. Option open.

Thank you for your commentary - but an ostrich view taken matters little when time comes to read and post - on open forum. That is just your option to read or not read.

Have a wonderful day!

Catch up with you all later, here or elsewhere on Missourian.

: )

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 11, 2011 | 1:34 p.m.

Yeah, I kinda understand that it does not make any sense that if some people are ignored they will go away..

Some people are kinda like flies (the annoying, nasty little insects).. They are completely annoying and ignoring them does not make them go away........

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 12, 2011 | 5:21 a.m.

@ Ricky Gurley.

Although it seems like summer has lasted forever, it will soon be autumn.

Leaves will turn color and fall from the trees. There will be football games, and pumpkins will be in evidence. Possibly those who may have fallen off the wagon from taking their prescribed medications will get back on that wagon again.

Stranger things have happened, Ricky.

(Report Comment)
Sangati Bhatt August 12, 2011 | 9:10 a.m.

Some 'crocks' on this posts are just complete waste of time. Pile of junk. Paranoid.
I feel crying for them. Huge burden on themselves as well as on others. I can't resist thinking, these kind of people exists in this world, Really !! Really !!

(Report Comment)
Dee Grayson August 15, 2011 | 7:16 p.m.

Rick, to each his own, I'm sure. It's working for *me* because I choose for it to.

And I agree as is indicated in my very first post: Ryan should get a free trial. And I know it wasn't lost on you that when I said we should shift the focus back to Ryan, what I was getting at is that the personal attacks going on here that have nothing at all with the subject at hand should stop.

Alas, they have not. 'A' for effort though.

Blessings...

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 16, 2011 | 8:24 a.m.

@"Yeah, I kinda understand that it does not make any sense that if some people are ignored they will go away..."

Have you? Sometimes, people seem to ignore you into next week - but then maybe they are just busy on the day you post.

Have a wonderful day, Rick.

My schedule does not depend on others. My to-do list gets done no matter the drama around me - anywhere I am.

If I want to comment on here, the editor will treat me just like the rest, I am sure - including you. If I don't want to comment on here, then I don't and life goes on anyway.

I learned along time ago that most people are too busy to be bogged down by drama anyone else creates.

:)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 16, 2011 | 8:27 a.m.

@"Some 'crocks' on this posts are just complete waste of time. Pile of junk."

But you notice them and use your posting time/space to comment on them.

Nice day to you, too.

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 16, 2011 | 8:43 a.m.

@"And I agree as is indicated in my very first post: Ryan should get a free trial."

No, another trial will cost a lot of money in court time and space. Guess who will pay for it? The defense will pay for the defense side, a given - but guess who will pay for the rest of it.

I am sorry that you just do not realize that for 10 years some folks realize that they have been "spoonfed" the notion that these two people should be let go on the street again, and some folks are not as anxious as others to fall for the drama of that.

Some folks just do not want to see "a convicted murderer" out on the street again.

I am sorry if that is harsh, but it is the truth about how some quiet, upstanding, law-abiding people view our court systems, our police and our safety net of the community.

We do not rag into that community safety net to make a point - nor do we "witch hunt" onto innocent people to try to red herring the issue away - and this red herring thing for your guy has been going on for 10 years now in Columbia.

If you think it is mean to disagree with you, then think what has happened to a lot of people because of the drama built over this case. Not nice to do that to good people. You drama gets you attention, and you don't care who you hit on in the process.

If your guy had a rock-solid alibi, he could never have been successfully placed at the scene. Are you going to find one, 10 years later, for him to use?

Are you going in to attack all the people who were part of the process for putting him behind bars? All over again, as you have been doing for 10 years now?

Then, when that is all you have, then your case stinks in the eyes of a lot of people who respect the law and keep up with their kids all the way to adulthood. I am sorry that will not be something you can see, but that is where a lot of people base their thoughts on this.

I am one of those people, and I write about it on here. I know that goes against your grain, but that is the way of open forum. Everyone does not have to agree with you, even if you hope to ostracize them for doing so. You cannot manipulate the thoughts of the reading public, any more than you can spit in the wind and not expect it fly back on you.

Have a wonderful day, in the world outside the forum.

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett August 16, 2011 | 9:08 a.m.

@"Possibly those who may have fallen off the wagon from taking their prescribed medications will get back on that wagon again."

Here, let me help you out on this.

Who's on medication?

You?

Ryan?

Anyone else who posts on here?

I really don't care enough for an answer to my question, but you seem so concerned and want to discuss that, that you brought it up on here.

So, let me help you out here by saying that I am not on a single medication, but one Bayer (over-the-counter, 325 mg) aspirin a day - and only because Hub says he wants me to take that. With calcium-fortified orange juice every morning.

My mother and grandmother believed this way, and they lived almost into their nineties. They went/were taken to the hospital only one time each - on the day they died, moving on toward one-hundred year mark time line. With no medication.

I do not believe in medications that bring side effects that you have to take more medicine for and then medicine for the side effects those bring- and then you have all those chemicals in your body - and I think a lot of people are correct to bring lawsuits against medications that have side effects that practically kill the patient.

And, someone once said, "You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar," but so can you with garbage. Guess just goes to show one person's garbage is another person's treasure.

Anyway, some of the things I put the curb are carted off before the garbage personnel can even arrive on schedule, while I never look in anyone's garbage - unless invited to see if anything I would want to recycle. I do not mind that someone finds the curb appeal in some things taken out here; it just saves the garbage personnel some work some days if they cart it off ahead of time - and we have the greatest garbage personnel in the world that service our street. And, we have met some really nice people who have asked if they could have something from our curb on garbage day.
Garbage personnel are like our mail carriers. They work through (out in) some very bad weather, to get their job list complete.
So, when it looks like rain, I do not put out the recyclables sometimes. I don't know what our garbage personnel get paid, but whatever it is, they should get another raise for the excellent job they do on our street, alone.

Have a great day!

:)

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 16, 2011 | 11:34 a.m.

Whew Weeeeeeeeeeee! That post about someone being off of their meds sure seemed to hit a nerve.... It sure seemed to inspire one long, defensive post; anyway...

I'm just saying......

Ricky B. Gurley

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
s Hecht August 16, 2011 | 5:10 p.m.

Ok so, I never usually post but oh my goodness, whose this Delicia chick? WTF? I'm trying to get the thesis of your argument and it's hard to really pin down due to the tangents but I'll give it a shot: So by your logic just because the majority opinion of jury at that time was "Ryan is guilty" then he is categorically guilty. So you're saying that the jury in that case was in a sense infallible? So the majority opinion is always 'right' despite say...physical evidence or other consideration? So have you noticed that the majority opinion of this forum states you to be daft. So that means that categorically you're daft, right? So if you're daft then your opinion can't be worth much right. Logically you can not win. I'm not the smartest person on this forum and even I can see that. Sorry to be so mean. I really am but, yes, juries can make mistakes. I know an individual who was on a jury that let a sex offender go free. She always sits up and ponders how 12 people could acquit a child molester but yet they did. They did the best the information they had and they were wrong. So think about that.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 16, 2011 | 6:15 p.m.

S. Hecht,

In regards to Delcia's arguments; who said that they had to be logical?

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Sangati Bhatt August 19, 2011 | 8:44 a.m.

For 'Crock' : you come on the blog to talk about Ryan and then all of a sudden you see some stupid 'crocks' who are all over. They think their opinion is the most important one and nobody else's.
The blog looses its essence. Some stupid crocks try to take over it going way beyond the original issue. They think no other human exists besides themshelves. Let me tell you 'crock' you have a very very very very low self image.

Even though you want to ignore them you can't and end up wasting your time trying to get them off wasting others time but still they don't understand. How foolish it that.

(Report Comment)
Jim Rothenberger August 20, 2011 | 9:29 a.m.

I guess the judicial system was infallible in the case of the West Memphis Three also.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/west-memphis-fr...

Hopefully Ryan won't need to wait 11 more years for justice.

(Report Comment)
Dee Grayson August 22, 2011 | 5:28 p.m.

I meant REtrial. Oh, that's funny. I made MYSELF laugh with that one. Anyone with any measure of common sense knows what I meant.

Those who acted like they didn't:
please, stop acting. ...not a good look.

Still, I DO hope Ryan gets a REtrial.

LOL

(Report Comment)
Colleen Kramm September 19, 2011 | 2:52 p.m.

Please go to this page and sign the petition to free Ryan. Spread the word via Twitter, facebook, email, etc...

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-gove...

(Report Comment)
Elyse Tugaw November 17, 2011 | 6:33 p.m.

To be honest, I have watched MANY MANY MANY people plead innocent (even when completely guilty) and listened to numerous hours of murder evidence and theories, yet I have never felt so incredibly upset about a trial case as I do about this ryan ferguson case... I truly do not understand how this boy was convicted of Robbery/2nd degree murder considering LACK of evidence AND the CONSISTENCY of his story (unlike the evidence told by Ryan's supposed "co-conspirator"). My heart truly goes out to Heitholt's family AS WELL AS the Ferguson family. I believe the wrong person (possibly people) have been wrongly convicted. And I HOPE NOBODY STOPS TRYING to find the truth and real murderer/s in this case. I believe the truth WILL be found... unfortunately it could take many many years, although, I hope not, for everyones sake. I'm sorry, but what in the world was the Jury thinking when convicting this boy of these crimes "BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT?" The MAJORITY of the information I have seen/heard leaves an ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF DOUBT in my mind, to a degree that I could never live with if I had convicted a person of a guilty verdict given that evidence. I'm so very sorry to ALL victims involved.

(Report Comment)
katie wall November 29, 2011 | 12:02 a.m.

Elyse took the words right of my mouth. I acutally watched a few of the stories on this because I am a dateline/48 hour mystery/american justice crazy & out of the 100s I have seen, read, and heard this is the first story I can honestly say I believe this boy is 100% innocent I couldnt believe the jury acutally convicted him on the evidence or should I say no evidence other then the word of his friend who " forgot " about that night for two years. I believe he was troubled child who just wanted attention & if this was his way of getting attention then that was what he was going to do.
I feel like he went to the police with really no information & went by what they were saying & in court he seemed more confident not because he "remembered more" because it seemed to me like it was more of a game and he just wanted to win at that point thats what I took from it.
I really hope Ryan gets out I think its a shame that poor boy is in prison.
I still shake my head at the jury.

(Report Comment)

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