JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of the convicted killer of Columbia Daily Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt. Ryan Ferguson's lawyer says the next step is to ask for a secondary review on the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel. Charles Erickson pleaded guilty to the slaying and is serving a 25-year prison term. Heitholt was beaten and strangled in the Tribune parking lot early on November 1st, 2001. A Lincoln County jury in October 2005 convicted the 22-year-old Ferguson of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison. In June, a state appeals court affirmed Ferguson's conviction. Ferguson's family say he's innocent, insisting that the allegations stemmed from dreams Erickson had years after the crime.