COLUMBIA — "Erin Burnett OutFront," an hourlong news program on CNN, aired a special report on Ryan Ferguson on Thursday night. The case has stirred up national controversy since Ferguson was convicted in 2005 of the second-degree murder of Kent Heitholt because some people believe Ferguson was wrongly convicted.
Ferguson has lost 14 appeals to overturn his conviction since he began to serve his 40-year prison sentence. The appeals process and developments in the case were collected in a Missourian timeline. A firestorm of controversy has erupted during the appeals process because of complaints that the process is unfair and the fact that two key witnesses recanted testimony placing Ferguson at the scene of the crime.
There is no physical evidence in the case linking Ferguson to the crime.
Supporters of Ferguson have been vocal, demanding his release from prison because they believe he was wrongly convicted. Websites like freeryanferguson.com have launched, trying to garner support for Ferguson, and his Facebook page of the same name has more than 62,000 likes.
Ferguson is awaiting the verdict of his latest appeal.