Update: Monday, April 16 at 10:50 a.m.:
A janitor has recanted his testimony in the first day of a weeklong hearing for Ryan Ferguson.
Jerry Trump was a janitor at the Columbia Daily Tribune at the time sports editor Kent Heitholt was killed. He originally testified that he saw Ferguson at the scene of the killing. Now Trump says that was a lie.
Trump says former Boone County prosecutor Kevin Crane coached him to identify Ferguson and accomplice Chuck Erickson. Crane is now a circuit court judge. He??s scheduled to testify on Friday.
Ferguson sat in the courtroom in an orange jumpsuit as Trump??s videotaped testimony played. So far he has sat emotionless, occasionally jotting down notes on a pad of paper.
Trump and Erickson are a big part of the defense??s case in getting Ferguson a new trial. Erickson, who originally said he and Ferguson were responsible, now says only he killed Heitholt. Erickson is set to testify on Wednesday.
Ferguson is serving a 40 year sentence while Erickson is serving 25 years.
A Columbia man convicted nearly seven years ago for killing a newspaper sports editor in 2001 returns to court Monday in his latest bid for a new trial.
Ryan Ferguson is serving a 40-year sentence for second-degree murder and robbery in in the strangling death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt in the newspaper's parking lot.
Ferguson has convinced a Cole County judge to allow new evidence during a hearing in Jefferson City, where he is imprisoned. The hearing is scheduled to last five days.
Ferguson won't testify, but his lawyers plan to call co-defendant Charles Erickson, a former high school friend. Erickson pleaded guilty to Heitholt's slaying and received a 25-year prison sentence. Erickson now says the two men were together but only he killed Heitholt.