Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Bill Ferguson of Columbia told reporters Tuesday afternoon he was pleased with the arguments Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green had just heard — even though Green made no ruling to let Ferguson’s son, Ryan, out of prison.
Ryan Ferguson, now 26, currently is in the Jefferson City Correctional Center, serving a 40-year sentence after a Lincoln County jury convicted him — in a Boone County trial — of helping kill Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt in the early hours of Nov. 1, 2001.
“Quite a bit happened (today), from our perspective,” Bill Ferguson said Tuesday. “The main thing that I think occurred was from Judge Green, when he acknowledged the ‘Preston Decision’ is the law of the land.
“The state has been — if I can use the analogy of a fish on the bank — flip-flopping around, trying to get back in the water over this issue. And they do not want to acknowledge that ... based on that one decision, Ryan should be given a new trial.”
Ryan Ferguson originally was convicted in 2005 of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery, and sentenced to 40 years total.
But his co-defendant, Chuck Erickson — who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action — was sentenced to a total of 25 years because of his cooperation with prosecutors.
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