Posted: Feb 8, 2013 6:32 PM by Sarah Duffey
Updated: Feb 8, 2013 11:21 PM
COLUMBIA - Convicted murderer Ryan Ferguson's dad, Bill Ferguson, issued a new appeal last week in order to get his son a new trial regarding the 2001 murder of Kent Heitholt.
The Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the appeal which includes eight errors found in the 2005 trial, along with charging Prosecutor Kevin Crane with perjury.
A main error the appeal describes is the jury selection from Lincoln County. Lincoln County allows citizens selected for jury duty to pay $50 and perform community service in order to be relieved of jury duty.
Ferguson's case was the first to come forward fighting for a mis-trial due to the Lincoln County jury selection process, but was denied by the Western District of the Missouri Court. Since then, four other cases came forward in the Eastern District and were exonerated.
Bill Ferguson said he has spent around $200,000 on his son's appeal, including the new billboards put up asking for information on the case, and offering a reward for new information that could help Ryan Ferguson's appeal.
So far, Bill Ferguson said he's received 100 calls and two of them have deemed helpful. Ferguson's defense team is sending investigators this month to Columbia to interview the two tippers.