Judge rules on claims in Ryan Ferguson civil case, trial delayed

3 years 10 months 4 weeks ago Tuesday, August 18 2015 Aug 18, 2015 Tuesday, August 18, 2015 11:39:00 AM CDT August 18, 2015 in News
By: Matt Johnson, KOMU 8 Content Manager

KANSAS CITY - The United States Court for the Western District of Missouri was set to hear pre-trial motions Tuesday in the civil case Ryan Ferguson and his attorney filed against several Columbia Police officers. Ferguson, who was convicted in 2005 of murdering Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt in 2001, later had his conviction overturned in 2013.

Tuesday's pre-trial conference was delayed after a judge's order Aug. 14 which ruled in favor of the defense on one of Ferguson's two due process claims. The judge ruled in the defense's favor in part on a second due process claim. Due process is the state's legal requirement to respect the rights of citizens. The defense filed an appeal Monday on the portion of the due process claim the judge did not rule on, citing one of the defendants should have immunity as a state official.

The judge did not rule on the four other counts against officers, meaning the case will likely go to trial. The defendants have been pushing to settle the case while Ferguson and his attorneys have been pushing to take the case to trial. 

The judge's order for jury trial includes the counts against officers of fabrication of evidence, reckless investigation, malicious prosecution, conspiracy and false arrest. A trial date has not been set on those claims. The original trial date was set for Aug. 24.

Ferguson claims police failed to properly investigate evidence in their investigation of Hietholt's murder, including the potential involvement of then-Tribune sports writer Michael Boyd. It also alleges police officers fed information about the murder to Charles Erickson, who was with Ferguson the night of the murder. The lawsuit claims Ryan Ferguson was arrested on March 10, 2004 on "fabricated evidence."

The lawsuit originally named both the city of Columbia and Boone County. A judge dismissed both from the lawsuit in April 2014, but Ferguson's attorney Kathleen Zellner filed paperwork to have the city added back to the lawsuit. The city was voluntarily dismissed from the lawsuit in September 2014.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA — A Versailles man previously convicted of child molestation has been charged with possession of and promoting child pornography.... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 7:47:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA heard Missouri's appeal on Thursday after the school was handed a handful of penalties back in... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 6:49:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in Top Stories
BRANSON - One year ago Friday, 17 were killed when a duck boat sank during a thunderstorm on Table Rock... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:01:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors filed reckless homicide charges on Thursday against a Missouri semi driver for a highway construction zone... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 4:09:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The new AI face editing app FaceApp has become an instant hit with iPhone users. However, there are... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 3:45:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An excessive heat warning is still in effect through Saturday and families should take precautions when playing on... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 1:55:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick announced Thursday the creation of a new program to help small businesses and farmers after... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 12:37:00 PM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats approved legislation Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 11:38:19 AM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Cooling centers are opening around Missouri as high temperatures and humidity create dangerous conditions. The... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 11:22:02 AM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway released her audit of the Lieutenant Governor's office while now-Governor Mike Parson was... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:43:00 AM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department is asking the public to help identify three individuals. Officers believe... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:15:00 AM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. (AP) — A 55-year-old man has been charged with shooting up a woman's car on a... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 9:57:41 AM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Going after four Democratic congresswomen one by one, a combative President Donald Trump turned his campaign... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 9:53:16 AM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
TOKYO (AP) — A man screaming "You die!" burst into an animation studio in Kyoto, doused it with a flammable... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 9:43:00 AM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
ROCHEPORT - Concerned drivers will have an opportunity to learn more about the 2020 Missouri River Bridge repairs in meetings... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 3:21:00 AM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — An American Airlines flight landed safely Wednesday night shortly after pilots declared an emergency because of the smell... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, July 17 2019 Jul 17, 2019 Wednesday, July 17, 2019 8:30:00 PM CDT July 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A group that calls themself "Save Historic Broadway" is coming together in order to put a stop to... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, July 17 2019 Jul 17, 2019 Wednesday, July 17, 2019 7:56:00 PM CDT July 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The Gasconade County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post Tuesday night that it needs help finding its... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, July 17 2019 Jul 17, 2019 Wednesday, July 17, 2019 7:12:00 PM CDT July 17, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 88°
9pm 88°
10pm 85°
11pm 84°
12am 83°