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Ryan Ferguson crime scene walk scheduled for Friday night

Friday, August 17, 2012 | 4:48 p.m. CDT; updated 4:19 p.m. CDT, Saturday, August 18, 2012

COLUMBIA — Bill Ferguson thinks his son is innocent and believes he might be able to convince others that he is too.

In 2005, Ryan Ferguson was convicted of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in connection with the strangling of Columbia Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

Friday evening, Bill Ferguson will lead a tour of the crime scene to raise awareness of discrepancies in the case against his son.

In the decade since the 2001 murder, Ryan Ferguson's conviction has been appealed multiple times.

Bill Ferguson said the original testimonies in the case contained conflicting information, and two of the state's witnesses have since recanted their testimonies from the original trial.

Most recently, Ryan Ferguson received an evidentiary hearing in a Cole County courtroom. Judge Daniel Green is expected to decide whether to grant him a new trial soon. 

Friday's tour will begin at 8 p.m. at the corner of Broadway and First Street. About 30 people are expected to attend, but up to 100 people could show up, Bill Ferguson said.

The Freedom Fighters, a group that's firmly "in support of Ryan Ferguson," will also walk the crime scene.

Support will continue Saturday as Bill Ferguson hosts a barbecue. The event's details were not available as of Friday afternoon.

Supervising editor is Hannah Cushman.


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