Ryan Ferguson's Attorney Files Civil Suit Against Columbia, PD

5 years 11 months 1 week ago Monday, March 10 2014 Mar 10, 2014 Monday, March 10, 2014 7:47:00 PM CDT March 10, 2014 in News
By: Blair Miller, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
loading

COLUMBIA - Kathleen Zellner, the attorney for Ryan Ferguson whose murder charges were vacated late last year, has filed a civil lawsuit on Ferguson's behalf against numerous defendants, including the city of Columbia; Boone County; former Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane; former Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm; and other officers and members of the prosecutor's office.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, states Ferguson will pursue $75 million in compensatory and actual damages and $25 million in punitive damages and demands a trial by jury in relation to all issues stated in the lawsuit.

[View the full 50-page lawsuit here.]

The lawsuit, which thoroughly details the police investigation and court cases, alleges police took missteps in the investigation; fabricated evidence to "induce" Ferguson's alleged accomplice, Charles Erickson, to implicate and testify against Ferguson; and conspired to implicate Ferguson.

It also alleges that members of the Prosecuting Attorney's office conspired to implicate both Erickson and Ferguson and that prosecution withheld evidence and testimony that could have aided Ferguson's case.

The lawsuit cites nine separate counts against 13 defendants - eight former and current Columbia Police officers, three current or former members of the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney's office, Boone County, and the city of Columbia.

The officers named in the lawsuit are: Detective John Short, Detective Jeff Nichols, Detective Jeff Westbrook, Detective Bryan Liebhart, Detective Latisha Stroer, Detective Lloyd Simons, Sergeant Stephen Monticelli and former Chief of Police Randy Boehm.

Boone County Investigators William Haws (currently the Boone County Case Specialist) and Ben White were also named as defendants, along with Former Prosecutor Kevin Crane, who is currently a Circuit Judge for Boone County.

Damages sought in the lawsuit "include, but are not limited to, past and future pecuniary losses, emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, loss of reputation, loss of liberty, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and other non-pecuniary losses."

Count I - pursued against Haws and the officers - alleges the destruction and/or suppression of exculpatory evidence and Count II alleges officers fabricated evidence.

Counts III-VI, pursued against Haws, White and officers, allege a "reckless or intentional failure to investigate," "malicious prosecution," "conspiracy to deprive constitutional rights" and a "failure to intervene."

Count VII alleges "false arrest" against all officers, while Count VIII alleges "defamation" against Crane and Boehm. Count IX - the final allegation in the lawsuit - alleges "indemnification" against the city of Columbia and Boone County. 

Ferguson was found guilty of 2nd-degree murder and 1st-degree robbery in the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt in December 2005.

His charges were vacated after a writ of habeas corpus was filed in the Western District of Missouri Court and upheld in November 2013, when it was determined a Brady violation had been committed and he was released from prison. 

This is a developing news story - check back for more details.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - One lane of U.S. Route 54 in Jefferson City will be closed on Feb. 20. Missouri... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 2:59:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Hundreds of Moms Demand Action members flooded the Missouri Capitol today wearing red in support of legislation... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 2:48:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
MARIES COUNTY - Gary Martin Traver's Jr., the man recently arrested for an arson that injured six Vienna fireman in... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 2:39:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A bomb threat to the Cole County courthouse Tuesday morning caused both the courthouse and annex to... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 1:06:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — If you rent in the City of Columbia, you might have better living conditions than some people... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:48:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - Ashland City Administrator Tony St. Romaine received a proposed new employment contract from Ashland Chief of Police Lyn... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:21:37 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Free from the burden of a Missouri Ethics Commission investigation, could former Governor Eric Greitens be gearing up... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:17:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A decision on whether Missouri’s only abortion clinic can keep its license will be pushed... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 10:42:00 AM CST February 18, 2020 in News
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection as it faces a barrage of... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 7:16:07 AM CST February 18, 2020 in News
Addiction is a brain disease manifested by compulsive substance despite harmful consequences. People with addiction, also known as severe substance... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 6:22:00 AM CST February 18, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
JEFFERSON CITY — Former U.S. Attorney General and former Missouri governor John D. Ashcroft is defending current Attorney General William... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 8:10:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
A new study shows a substantial number of young adults are starting college feeling depressed or anxious. The study... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 7:45:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Officials announced their plan on Dec. 5 to transfer ownership of the Boone County Fairgrounds to... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 7:24:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, (AP) — Missouri is the only state without a statewide database to track prescription opioids, and it's unclear... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 5:17:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - Ashland chief of police Lyn Woolford has filed a lawsuit against the city of Ashland and its mayor,... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 4:47:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A new Missouri Senate bill would require judges to have hearings to certify whether or not to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 4:02:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
TUSCUMBIA, Mo. — A former seventh-grade teacher in central Missouri has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for providing... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 3:49:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Columbia City Council is meeting Monday afternoon to discuss new polices on trash pickup. During their Pre-Council,... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 17 2020 Feb 17, 2020 Monday, February 17, 2020 3:21:00 PM CST February 17, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
5pm 38°
6pm 37°
7pm 35°
8pm 34°