Liveblog: Ryan Ferguson's Release

2 years 8 months 1 week ago November 12, 2013 Nov 12, 2013 Tuesday, November 12 2013 Tuesday, November 12, 2013 6:38:00 PM CST in Breaking News
By: Taylor Beck and Elaina O'Connell, KOMU 8 Digital Producers

COLUMBIA - (Complete video of Ryan Ferguson's press conference can be viewed by clicking the thumbnail to the left.) Ryan Ferguson thanked his family, his attorney and his supporters as he spoke at a news conference Tuesday at the Tiger hotel following his release from prison just a few hours before.

Ferguson said it was a "confusing" day and he was at times unsure whether he would be arrested.

His conviction was overturned by an appeals court last week. Attorney General Chris Koster decided not to pursue further action.

His father, Bill Ferguson, said there were times during the afternoon he "had his doubts" that Ferguson would walk free.

Attorney Kathleen Zellner said Ferguson remained strong on a day of upheaval as plans for his release kept changing. Ferguson had been allowed to dress in civilian clothes at one point, but was then ordered to redress in his orange jumpsuit and was reshackled to wait for further instruction.

This KOMU 8 News liveblog tracked developments and reaction throughout the day. Events are presented in reverse chronological order with the newest on top:

 

7:28 p.m. Zellner says it's time for the family to leave, calls news conference to an end.

7:25 p.m. Ferguson thanks supporters, said they gave him hope.

7:24 p.m. Ferguson says Charles Erickson is "not a killer." He says, "The guy is a lot of things...but the thing he is more so than anything, is innocent."

7:23 p.m. Ferguson says, "I didnt want to get out and still be a 19-year-old in my mind."

7:22 p.m. Ferguson says he is writing a book about his experience.

7:21 p.m. Zellner says Ferguson has shown great grace under pressure.

7:20 p.m. Ferguson says he would like his first post-jail meal to be from Dairy Queen.

7:19 p.m. Ferguson says he is happier for his parents right now than himself. "They've had to deal with so much."

7:18 p.m. Ferguson says he's still confused about what happened over the past couple of hours, as he was told different things about how he would be released, including changing into civilian clothes and back into the prison jumpsuit. "I was incredibly stressed out."

7:17 p.m. Ferguson says he really doesn't know what will be the first thing on his agenda, says he hasn't been looking too far into the future. "I'm ready for anything really."

7:15 p.m. Ferguson said he felt like the appeals court decision was the first time any judges were listening to him and his family and thanks the court.

7:14 p.m. Ferguson says he is looking forward to getting on with his life, but if what's happening today is any indication, it will be "weird."

7:13 p.m. Ferguson says of the crowd at the Tiger hotel, "There are a lot of people, it's kind of scary."

7:12 p.m. Ferguson says of his parents: "Without them...I wouldn't have had any hope. It would have been very difficult."

7:11 p.m. Ryan Ferguson greets applause by saying "I feels like Jay Leno or something."

7:10 p.m. Attorney Kathleen Zellner says Ferguson was told to put on civilian clothes, then told there was an issue and he had to put on prison garb.

7:09 p.m. Before introducing attorney Kathleen Zellner, Ferguson's father Bill Ferguson said, "I really had my doubts."

The Freed Ryan Ferguson page post about his release has gotten more than 9,000 hits and 935 comments.

Ryan Ferguson ReactionRyan Ferguson ReactionRyan Ferguson Reaction

Despite Ferguson's response to his release, it does not necessarily mean the case is over:

A Facebook page supporting the family has changed its name from Free Ryan Ferguson to Freed Ryan Ferguson.

 

Ryan Ferguson Reaction

Dateline NBC reporter Keith Morrison tweeted this, referring to the many changes of plans for Ferguson's release:

In a press conference after an appeals court vacated Ferguson's conviction, both his father and attorney said they hoped to have him home by Thanksgiving day. This is from Twitter just moments ago:

On KOMU 8 News at 5 p.m.:

Bill Ferguson says, "It won't hit me until he's in the car and we are leaving the prison for the last time."

Kim Heitholt's daughter says, she "100 percent" did not want to comment on the issue.

Reaction on the streets: "To put the wrong person away does not heal that wound and we need to find the truth in the case" and "it's a classical example of what I think is prosecutorial miscondut."

The Free Ryan Ferguson page has changed its cover photo to a shot showing Ryan Ferguson with a Dateline reporter shortly before learning of his release.

Ryan Ferguson Reaction

KOMU 8 News has posted raw video of Ferguson's parents arriving at the Jefferson City Correctional Center.

Here is the bond ordering Ferguson's release by the Department of Corrections. Bond Order.pdf

The Free Ryan Ferguson Facebook post initially announcing the decision has now received more than 15,000 likes and more than 3,000 comments.

Ryan Ferguson Reaction

Ryan Ferguson Reaction

KOMU 8 News will have a host a Twitter chat with reporter Eric Hilt Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. He'll answer viewer questions about the case.

Few people on social media are being critical of the decision, and their reaction is being met with criticism.

Ryan Ferguson Reaction

While much of the social media reaction is positive, several people are raising questions about what happens now regarding the murder of Kent Heitholt.

The Free Ryan Ferguson Facebook page has gotten more than 8,000 likes on its post announcement the news.

Ryan Ferguson Reaction

Ryan Ferguson ReactionRyan Ferguson Reaction

Ryan Ferguson Reaction

Here are some of the comments KOMU 8 News has received on its Facebook page since the announcement.

Ryan Ferguson reaction

Ryan Ferguson reaction

Ryan Ferguson reaction

Ryan Ferguson Reaction

Ryan Ferguson Reaction

Ryan Ferguson Reaction

A sample of tweets as of 2:26 p.m.

 

The Facebook page Free Ryan Ferguson posted it's reaction.

Facebook Screenshot

4:44 PM - 11 Nov 13 zellner

KOMU 8 News  broke the news for its audience via Twitter.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — Federal workplace safety officials blame heat exposure in last weekend's death of a 23-year-old landscaper in... More >>
5 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 7:43:04 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Rep. Bill Lant has been hospitalized after a car crash. A Missouri State Highway... More >>
6 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 7:17:16 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - KOMU 8's Target 8 Investigative team analyzed claims made by Josh Hawley, a Republican running for state... More >>
6 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 6:25:00 PM CDT in Target 8
COLUMBIA- The Hinkson Creek at Jay Dix Station is covered in piles of trees and trash. When on the... More >>
9 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 3:36:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Big energy companies like Ameren and Empire may not be totally complying when it comes to renewable energy... More >>
10 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 2:42:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - New positions and upgrades might be coming to the Jefferson City Police and Fire Departments. Mayor... More >>
10 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 2:34:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 66th annual Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fair operates strictly on a volunteer basis. The... More >>
11 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 2:16:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man is critically injured after driving a go-kart into the side of a St. Louis... More >>
13 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 12:03:28 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - College pal David Roloff has fond memories of Democratic candidate Vice President Tim Kaine at the University of... More >>
13 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 11:42:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
CHESTERFIELD (AP) — Police are searching for the suspect after an attempted child abduction at a suburban St. Louis outlet... More >>
16 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 9:07:52 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Fire crews put out a structure fire at a condemned house on 4th Avenue off Providence Road in... More >>
16 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 8:50:00 AM CDT in News
AVA, Mo. (AP) — Police say a teenager has wounded another teen and then killed himself before dawn in a... More >>
17 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 7:45:09 AM CDT in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Strong thunderstorms across parts of Missouri are offering relief from the oppressive heat and humidity, but... More >>
17 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 7:27:24 AM CDT in Continuous News
PHILADELPHIA - Columbia resident Persephone Dakopolos arrived Sunday in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. Dakopolos was selected at the... More >>
22 hours ago July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016 Monday, July 25 2016 Monday, July 25, 2016 3:04:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The National Association of Realtors reported this week a 9-year high for sales of existing homes this past... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 4:06:00 PM CDT in News
WILDWOOD (AP) — Two people were killed in a two-vehicle collision in eastern Missouri. St. Louis County police say... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 3:52:10 PM CDT in News
DIAMOND (AP) — Southwest Missouri has a newly dedicated prairie. The 163-acre George Washington Carver Prairie was dedicated Saturday.... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 3:01:01 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Tim Kaine has always been a leader. While as a student at the University of Missouri, he... More >>
1 day ago July 24, 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 1:37:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
2am 71°
3am 70°
4am 70°
5am 70°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:07a
The Insider
1:37a
Access Hollywood
2:07a
The Meredith Vieira Show
1:00a
The King of Queens
1:30a
Seinfeld
2:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
NBC News Special: 2016 Democratic National Convention
7:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
7:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:00p
MADtv
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld