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Ryan Ferguson Reacts to His Conviction Being Overturned

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Ryan Ferguson was convicted of the 2001 murder of Kent Heitholt, a Columbia, Missouri newspaper sports editor. Tuesday, the conviction was thrown out but he concedes the ruling doesn't mean he's a free man.
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A Missouri appeals court panel has overturned the murder conviction of a Columbia man who has been serving a 40-year sentence for the 2001 slaying of a newspaper sports editor.

Ryan Ferguson was convicted of the 2001 murder of Kent Heitholt, a Columbia, Missouri newspaper sports editor.  Tuesday, he talked to Erin Moriarty of CBS News about the conviction being thrown out and concedes the ruling doesn't mean he's a free man.

Ryan Ferguson's parents have been waiting nearly a decade for this. Leslie: "Oh my god… I think I saw Ryan… Oh my god, it's there!"  Bill:  "Woo! It cannot get better than that!"
Tuesday,  a Missouri appellate court overturned their son's murder conviction.

There has never been any physical evidence tying Ferguson to the crime - there was only the word of two witnesses. Charles Erickson claimed to be Ferguson's accomplice, but seemed to know very little when he spoke to police.

"It's just so foggy, I could just be sitting here fabricating all of it," Erickson told an investigator.

Jerry Trump, a janitor, claimed he saw Ryan at the crime scene and pointed him out during the trial. 

Last year, at a hearing, both witnesses recanted under oath.  But his appeals have been denied…  until Tuesday.

The State has to decide whether to retry Ryan Ferguson.  If not he could be out by Thanksgiving - his first at home with his family in a decade.


(Erin Moriarty, CBS News in Columbia, Missouri)


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