City of Columbia releases details of settlement with Ryan Ferguson
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia released a copy Tuesday of the settlement it reached with Ryan Ferguson.
On Monday, the judge awarded Ferguson $10 million, citing damages along with $150,000 in attorney fees and more than $800,000 in fees for the law firm.
In 2005, Ferguson was convicted of the November 2001 murder of Columbia Tribune Sports editor Kent Heitholt. His sentence was vacated in 2013 after an appeals court ruled evidence was withheld during the original trial.
In a release Tuesday, the city said the settlement limits monetary damages from the city, police officers and Clarendon Insurance to $2.75 million. Of that, Clarendon will cover $2.25 million, and the city will pay the other $500,000.
"The officers involved in the litigation maintain that they conducted a thorough, professional and ethical investigation into the murder of Kent Heitholt and deny they violated Mr. Ferguson's constitutional rights," the city said in the release.
The release further explained that questions over what payments would be covered by insurers in the event of a trial prompted the parties to settle the liability portion of the lawsuit.
A copy of the settlement is available on the city's website.