Ryan Ferguson Could Be Released Tuesday

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COLUMBIA - After eight years in prison, Ryan Ferguson could be released Tuesday on bond if the Missouri Attorney General's Office decides not to stop a motion to release him.

The deadline for the Attorney General's office to act was set on November 5, when Ferguson's conviction was vacated by the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals.

In 2005, Ferguson was convicted of second degree-murder and robbery for the murder of Columbia Tribune sports writer Kent Heitholt in 2001.

Ferguson was convicted to 40 years in prison, based heavily on the testimony of the other defendant Chuck Erickson, and Jerry Trump, a janitor at the Tribune building.

However, both Trump and Erickson recanted their testimony in 2012, prompting Ferguson's father, Bill, and his lawyer to file a 154-page petition for an appeal.

In September 2013, Ferguson's lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, also argued that the prosecution withheld information about an interview with Trump's wife, Barbra, which could have helped clear Ferguson.

If Ferguson is released on Tuesday, the state still has until November 20th to choose whether to refile charges against him.