Ferguson's attorney wants him released

An attorney for Ryan Ferguson plans to seek his immediate release following an appeals court ruling overturning his murder conviction for the 2001 slaying of a central Missouri journalist.

An appeals court panel ruled Tuesday that prosecutors wrongly withheld evidence from defense attorneys before Ferguson's 2005 trial for the killing of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

Consequently, the appeals panel said Ferguson didn't get a fair trial.

Ferguson is represented by Chicago attorney Kathleen Zellner. She says her office plans to file a motion seeking Ferguson's release on bond pending a decision on whether to retry him.

The Missouri Court of Appeals' Western District gave prosecutors 15 days after its order becomes final to decide whether to retry Ferguson, or else release him.