First suspect to be tried Nov. 2 in Kent Heitholt murder case

Wednesday, August 11, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:06 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Trial dates have been set for the two suspects in the death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

Boone County Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton set a Nov. 2 trial date for Charles Erickson, 20, who is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in connection with Heitholt’s death.

Circuit Judge Ellen Roper set a trial date of Jan. 24, 2005, for Ryan Ferguson, 19, who is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. Attorneys from both sides tentatively agreed on that date during a hearing in which Roper decided to bring in a jury from Lincoln County to hear the case. A pre-trial conference has been set for Sept. 7.

Heitholt was found dead in the Tribune’s parking lot on Nov. 1, 2001. He suffered multiple blows to the head with a tire tool and was strangled with a belt. Columbia police arrested Ferguson and Erickson on March 10 of this year.

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