Ryan Ferguson

UPDATE: Special prosecutor named in Ryan Ferguson case

Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight said his office had a conflict of interest with the case. Knight was the assistant prosecuting attorney during Ferguon's trial, according to Missouri

DEAR READER: Reporting the Ryan Ferguson ruling requires legal language calisthenics

If a conviction is vacated, is it also overturned? This week's announcement by the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District gave the Missourian a chance to review legal terminology.


More than 12 years after Kent Heitholt's death, the man originally convicted in his slaying may soon be released from prison. On Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District overturned Ryan Ferguson's 2005 murder conviction. 

Remembering Kent Heitholt and a cat named Margot

Nina Johnson, former librarian at the Columbia Daily Tribune and current librarian at the Missourian, recalls a series of events following the slaying of Kent Heitholt.

Ryan Ferguson's freedom hangs in the balance

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District vacated Ferguson's conviction based on a Brady violation, ruling that the prosecution failed to share vital information with his defense.

UPDATED TIMELINE: The evolution of the Ryan Ferguson case

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District vacated Ryan Ferguson's 2005 conviction for murder. Here's a timeline of the evolution of his case.

Ferguson attorney Kathleen Zellner boasts high success rate

If the state decides it will try to keep Ryan Ferguson behind bars, Kathleen Zellner said she will be ready. "If (the prosecutors) want a battle, we're always up for a fight." Her record of legal victories suggests that's no empty boast.

Ryan Ferguson appeals court ruling complex, focuses on Brady violation

The court wrote that Ferguson did not discover until after his appeal and post-conviction motions had failed that the prosecution had not disclosed key evidence to the defense. That opened the way for the appeals court to consider the significance of that evidence.

The who's who of people involved in the Ryan Ferguson case

As Ryan Ferguson's story is being told once again, here's a guide to some of the key people who have been connected to the case.

Remembering Kent Heitholt

Kent Heitholt was killed in the parking lot of the Columbia Daily Tribune in 2001. Ryan Ferguson has been serving a 40-year sentence for second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in Heitholt's death.

Real-time reactions to Ryan Ferguson decision

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District granted Ryan Ferguson's request to vacate his 2005 conviction for the murder of Kent Heitholt.

Media outlets respond to Ryan Ferguson decision

Local, state and national news organizations covered the breaking news of Ryan Ferguson's vacated conviction. Many also posted and updated stories throughout the day.

LIVE REPORT: Coverage of the Ryan Ferguson family news conference

Follow the news conference with the family of Ryan Ferguson here.

Ryan Ferguson's conviction vacated

The state's failure to disclose evidence that would have cast doubt on crucial eyewitness testimony is central to the decision by the Western District Court of Appeals.

CNN program covers Ryan Ferguson case

"Erin Burnett OutFront," a news program on CNN, aired a special report Thursday on the Ryan Ferguson case. Here's some background and previous Missourian coverage on the case.


Ryan Ferguson's appeal focuses on information withheld during his trial

Ryan Ferguson's attorney and an assistant attorney general battled in court Tuesday over whether the state withheld important information about how eyewitness Jerry Trump identified Ferguson as one of two men he saw in the parking lot of the Columbia Tribune after the slaying of a sports editor. 


Ryan Ferguson's case goes to court once again

Ferguson's attorneys will argue his case before a panel of three judges in the Western District Court of Appeals in September.

Ryan Ferguson continues attempts to overturn 2005 murder conviction

Ryan Ferguson, charged with Kent Heitholt's 2001 murder, is making his 14th attempt to overturn the 2005 murder conviction. A hearing has been set for Sept. 10.

Appeals court orders state to file response to Ferguson's petition

The order calls upon the state to respond to the claims in Ferguson’s petition, which include a lack of physical evidence, a lack of credible witness testimony and a constitutional violation in the trial's jury selection.

Ryan Ferguson seeks pardon from governor

Keeping the focus on the Ferguson case, the Midwest Innocence Project is co-hosting a panel discussion case Monday at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School. People are invited to watch online and tweet questions or comment via Facebook.