Part of settlement reached in Ryan Ferguson lawsuit
ST. LOUIS — Ryan Ferguson has settled a portion of his lawsuit against police, nearly four years after his 40-year prison sentence was overturned.
A federal judge was informed during a teleconference Tuesday that the settlement in Ferguson's lawsuit against six Columbia Police Department members is awaiting signatures. Court records say the attorneys expect the deal will be finalized this week or next. No details were disclosed. KOMU 8 reached to attorneys for Ferguson and the Columbia Police Department, but have not heard back.
Ferguson was sentenced to 40 years for the murder of Kent Heitholt in 2001. Heitholt was the sports editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune. In October 2001, Heitholt was killed in the paper's parking lot.
Ferguson was convicted in 2005, even though none of the DNA evidence matched his.
In April 2012, Ferguson was granted a new trial, and in Nov. 2013, he was released after an appeals court eventually ruled evidence was withheld during the original trial.
His lawsuit alleges detectives fabricated evidence, coerced witnesses and failed to investigate other possible suspects.