Last person to see Heitholt alive takes the stand

Ryan Ferguson

In Day 4 of Ryan Fergusonâ??s evidentiary hearing, two witnesses have taken the stand.

First up was a former high school friend, Kim Bennett. She was 16 at the time of Kent Heitholtâ??s murder. Bennett was at the bar By Georgeâ??s on that night. Thatâ??s the same place Ferguson and Chuck Erickson were hanging out before the murder took place.

Bennett said she saw the two leave the club at 1:30 a.m., which would put them in the clear for Heitholtâ??s death.

The man witness called to the stand Thursday was Michael Boyd. Heâ??s the former sports writer for the Columbia Daily Tribune. Boyd worked under Heitholt at the newspaper. He also was the last person to see Heitholt alive.

Boyd described his last conversation with his boss in the newspaperâ??s parking lot. He said the two of them talked about work and a stray cat they were feeding in the lot.

Boyd also testified that he saw two people walking in a nearby alley while he was in the parking lot, but didnâ??t say anything to police about it for nearly a year. Boyd said he didnâ??t think much of it because he always would see people walking in the area when he got off work. Boyd told police about the two figures he saw that night before they arrested Ferguson and Erickson.

Police never considered Boyd a suspect in the case. He was not thoroughly investigated and detectives never requested a DNA sample from him.

Boyd will likely be on the stand the rest of the day. He has yet to be cross-examined by the prosecution.

KRCG has been in the courtroom all week covering Ferguson's fight for a new trial. Follow the links below for highlights of what happened in the courtroom each day.

Day 1: Ferguson won't testify

Day 2: Pathologist questions police theory

Day 2: Witness asks for forgiveness

Day 3: Erickson admits he lied