Janitors Testify in Ferguson Trial

1 decade 11 months 5 days ago October 24, 2005 Oct 24, 2005 Monday, October 24 2005 Monday, October 24, 2005 3:30:29 PM CDT in News

Two janitors at the Tribune on the night of Heitholt's murder gave testimony. They say they walked out on that loading dock, and saw Ferguson and Erickson beside Heitholt's car.

"Well, I knew when I saw the pictures of the two boys, they were the ones I saw that night," Janitor Jerry Trump said.

Prosecutors say Ferguson murdered Tribune sports editor Kent Heithold early November 1, 2001.

He saw Ryan Ferguson and Chuck Erickson standing beside Kent Heitholt's dead body. Star witness Erickson spent the last two days trying to convince a jury he and Ferguson did in fact murder Heitholt.

"I really thought I had done this, and if I did it then he was with me," Erickson said.

Prosecutors called the other janitor, Shana Ort to the stand. She testified that Erickson shouted to her to call for help. That is also what Erickson says.

"He looked at me and he said somebody's hurt, get help," Janitor Shana Ort said.

But the defense focused on discrepancies in witnesses testimony.

Defense Attorney: "At that time you described the hair as blonde, is that correct?"
Erickson: "Yes."
Defense Attorney: "But you didn't say dirty blonde, or medium blonde, you just said blonde at that time, is that correct?"
Erickson: " Yes."

Much of Erickson's testimony did not match earlier pre-trial depositions. So the prosecuting attorney tried to establish that Erickson had no reason to lie.

Prosecuting Attorney: "What cost is it for you in your life the more you articulate these memories to police?"
Erickson: "My freedom. My life. My family."

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