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www.wmfd.com - The subject of investigative reports and news stories nationwide, a Missouri man convicted of murder has been released before his 30th birthday. }}" />

Ryan Ferguson Freed After 10 Year Imprisonment

Story By: Larry Stine



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  Original Published: 11/13/2013 The subject of investigative reports and news stories nationwide, a Missouri man convicted of murder has been released before his 30th birthday. Andrew Spencer reports the state attorney general has decided not to seek a retrial. How do you spend your first free hours after nearly a decade in prison? "I don't know," said Ryan Ferguson. "I kind of want some Dairy Queen." Fergusaon stepped out to applause, Tuesday night, finally fee after spending nearly 10 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. His parents have lobbied for him since his arrest in 2004, recently driving a car wrapped with the words. "Free Ryan." They note he's never used social mediam he's never even sent a text message. "I don't know if i can characterize a decade but oppression is a good word for it," he says. "It's a struggle, you know, pure and simple. It's a struggle. It's been that way for my family and I." Now 29, Ferguson was just a teenager when he was arrested for the 2001 murder of Ken Heitholt, a sports editor at the Columbia Daily Tribune. Ferguson was drinking with former friend Charles Erickson that night, who later said he had dream-like memories of committing the crime. He's one of two witnesses who implicated Ferguson in the murder and later recanted their testimonies. An appeals court ruled, last week, that prosecutors withheld evidence that could have helped Ferguson's defense, and his conviction was overturned. Now free, he says other people are still serving time for crimes they didn't commit, including the man who helped send him to prison. "Charles Erickson, I mean, the guy's a lot of things, but the thing he is more so than anything else, is innocent," says Ferguson.
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