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

6 years 4 months 3 weeks 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
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The first astronauts to ride a SpaceX capsule into orbit are headed toward a splashdown... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 11:08:00 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police are investigating shots fired in the 5300 block of Godas Circle around 1 a.m. Sunday. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 9:48:00 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
NEW FLORENCE -- A train went off the tracks in New Florence this morning. According to a Facebook post... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 9:16:00 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
MEXICO – Trish Harris of Mexico, Mo. says she reminds her 2-year-old everyday who his father is. His father,... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 8:54:00 PM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Two schools, two graduations. Graduates had the opportunity to finally celebrate four years worth of hard work Saturday.... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 7:56:00 PM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A former assistant state attorney general and a former federal prosecutor are vying in Tuesday's Democratic... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 12:57:00 PM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
WARRENSBURG - One woman is dead and two people are injured after a shooting in Warrensburg Saturday morning. ... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 12:00:00 PM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
QUINCY, Ill. - One suspect in a deadly Audrain County home invasion was arrested Friday night. Quincy Police said... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 10:58:00 AM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 9:13:00 AM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - 58-year-old Columbia resident Clayton Jacobs has been reported missing after he was last seen by his neighbors on... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, August 01 2020 Aug 1, 2020 Saturday, August 01, 2020 12:15:00 AM CDT August 01, 2020 in News
MILWAUKEE ( KSDK ) — The Cardinals-Brewers game scheduled for Friday afternoon has been postponed again due to... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 31 2020 Jul 31, 2020 Friday, July 31, 2020 11:00:00 PM CDT July 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools have mandated that their elementary schools will have prepackaged school supplies. The school supplies... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 31 2020 Jul 31, 2020 Friday, July 31, 2020 7:43:00 PM CDT July 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — On Thursday, the Southeastern Conference announced that all participating schools football teams would play a 10 game conference-only... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 31 2020 Jul 31, 2020 Friday, July 31, 2020 5:45:00 PM CDT July 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Graduation ceremonies continued Friday for Columbia Public School seniors, this time with Douglass High School. "I had... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 31 2020 Jul 31, 2020 Friday, July 31, 2020 5:20:00 PM CDT July 31, 2020 in News
OSAGE BEACH — The Osage Beach Police Department arrested 50-year-old Terry Dickens on Thursday after following the vehicle from a... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 31 2020 Jul 31, 2020 Friday, July 31, 2020 4:55:00 PM CDT July 31, 2020 in News
BOSTON — A federal appeals court Friday threw out Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, saying... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 31 2020 Jul 31, 2020 Friday, July 31, 2020 4:52:06 PM CDT July 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Elementary students in the Columbia Public School system who are attending in-person classes can purchase prepackaged, sanitized supply... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 31 2020 Jul 31, 2020 Friday, July 31, 2020 4:03:00 PM CDT July 31, 2020 in News
TIPTON - A person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended two summer activities at Tipton R-VI School, according to the... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 31 2020 Jul 31, 2020 Friday, July 31, 2020 3:51:00 PM CDT July 31, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
1am 62°
2am 61°
3am 60°
4am 59°