The local and national media coverage of Ryan Ferguson's release from prison has spread the 29-year-old's story far beyond Columbia.
In Jefferson City, people seemed to have the same excitement as those in Columbia cheering at Ferguson's news conference Tuesday evening.
But some wonder how Ferguson will make up the time he lost while in prison.
"I was really happy for him but I just keep thinking, how do you recover nine years of your life? He's a young guy, he has so much ahead of him, but that was a good portion of his life so far and how do you get past that?" Bryna Long, from the Lake of the Ozarks, said.
In an interview for CBS' "48 Hours" just weeks ago, Ferguson echoed a similar concern.
"I missed my 20's, and I can never have that back. And I think that I can have a great life, I think that I can do great things, but I can't have that experience. I can't have the 20's, I can't have that growth process and that experience to just live life," Ferguson said.
On November 5 an appeals court overturned Ferguson's second-degree murder conviction in the 2001 death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.
Attorney General Chris Koster's office said in a statement that after reviewing evidence, they have decided not to retry or pursue any further legal action against Ferguson at this time.