Ferguson trial date changed

Court case in death of sports editor scheduled to begin on June 6.
Friday, January 21, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:41 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

One of two Columbia men charged in the 2001 death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt has been given a new trial date.

The trial for Ryan W. Ferguson, 20, has been set for 9 a.m. on June 6. Ferguson’s defense attorney, Scott McBride, had asked for more time earlier this month. Circuit Judge Ellen Roper granted that request and set the new date last week. Ferguson will appear before a jury selected from Lincoln County.

Since last April, when the case was brought before a grand jury, almost all the hearings have been rescheduled.

Boone County Prosecutor Kevin Crane said this is not unusual for a case of this nature.

“I’d wanted an earlier date, in March or April,” he said.

He said the prosecution would be busy working on the case until the June trial.

“This is just general preparation,” McBride said. “When you have a 2½ -year investigation that is still continuing, there is a lot of preparation.”

He said the defense is happy with the new date.

“We’ll be ready by then,” McBride said. “The client, the family and the defense are anxious to present this case. We want to ensure that it is done effectively with adequate preparation.”

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