Hearing Set For New Evidence in Ferguson Appeal

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JEFFERSON CITY - An evidentiary hearing is set for October 25 in Ryan Ferguson's latest bid to overturn his conviction in the murder of Columbia Tribune sports editor Ken Heitholt.

A judge will hear recantation testimony from co-defendant Charles Erickson, who now says he acted alone in Heitholt's murder. Heitholt was found in the Columbia Tribune parking lot beaten and strangled.

The hearing could last as long as five days. Defense attorney Kathleen Zellner asked for three days of testimony; the state asked for two days. The hearing is set to begin on Tuesday of that week, and could run until Saturday if needed.

The evidentiary hearing could grant Ferguson a new trial if Judge Daniel Green rules Erickson's recantation is credible in court. Ferguson is currently serving a 40-year sentence for second degree murder and first-degree robbery.

The Columbia Tribune posted an editorial saying the Dateline NBC special about the murder presented Michael Boyd as another suspect. The article can be found here.