Liveblog: Ryan Ferguson's Release

2 years 7 months 2 weeks 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
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has struck down Texas' widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics in the court's biggest... More >>
36 minutes ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 9:26:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have let people carry concealed guns... More >>
46 minutes ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 9:16:00 AM CDT in News
HAZELWOOD (AP) — Police in the St. Louis suburb of Hazelwood are investigating after three men wearing surgical masks climbed... More >>
59 minutes ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 9:02:55 AM CDT in News
BALLWIN (AP) — Authorities are urging visitors to Castlewood State Park in suburban St. Louis to avoid swimming after two... More >>
1 hour ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 8:43:10 AM CDT in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say one of the two people who died when a car ran off an interstate... More >>
2 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 7:25:00 AM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - In honor of National HIV Testing Day , Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services will... More >>
6 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 3:12:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – The Columbia I-70 Bridges Project is continuing on schedule and next on the agenda is for the new... More >>
7 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 2:35:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he'll veto a sweeping gun rights bill passed by the Republican-led... More >>
9 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 12:36:00 AM CDT in News
FESTUS (AP) — Authorities say a Missouri man and his dog have died after being struck by lightning. ... More >>
11 hours ago June 26, 2016 Jun 26, 2016 Sunday, June 26 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 10:07:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — A lightning strike during a storm sparked a house fire in west Columbia Sunday afternoon. The homeowners... More >>
15 hours ago June 26, 2016 Jun 26, 2016 Sunday, June 26 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 6:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The American Tiny House Association kicked off Missouri's first "tiny home" festival in Columbia this weekend. "It's... More >>
17 hours ago June 26, 2016 Jun 26, 2016 Sunday, June 26 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 4:06:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Crowds lined the streets of downtown St. Louis for the 37th annual Pridefest parade. Mayor... More >>
18 hours ago June 26, 2016 Jun 26, 2016 Sunday, June 26 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 3:48:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Disc golf enthusiasts from across the country flocked to Columbia for the 32nd Annual Mid-America Open this weekend.... More >>
19 hours ago June 26, 2016 Jun 26, 2016 Sunday, June 26 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 3:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri is fighting a former assistant professor's effort to collect unemployment benefits after she... More >>
19 hours ago June 26, 2016 Jun 26, 2016 Sunday, June 26 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 2:17:14 PM CDT in News
TROY (AP) — Crews continued searching for a Missouri woman after her husband was found shot to death of an... More >>
20 hours ago June 26, 2016 Jun 26, 2016 Sunday, June 26 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 1:41:06 PM CDT in News
TECUMSEH (AP) — A 13-year-old girl from Springfield has drowned in a river in southwest Missouri. The Missouri... More >>
21 hours ago June 26, 2016 Jun 26, 2016 Sunday, June 26 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 12:21:31 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two people died when the car they were in ran off an interstate overpass in Kansas... More >>
22 hours ago June 26, 2016 Jun 26, 2016 Sunday, June 26 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 11:57:53 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Roughly 52 percent of people in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum... More >>
22 hours ago June 26, 2016 Jun 26, 2016 Sunday, June 26 2016 Sunday, June 26, 2016 11:56:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 81°
11am 83°
12pm 88°
1pm 90°
2pm 91°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Crazy Talk
10:30a
Crazy Talk

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2016 U.S. Summer Olympic Trials
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
7:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
7:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld