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      Update: Petition could overturn Ferguson murder conviction

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      Update: Monday, Feb. 14 at 4:45 p.m.:

      A Columbia father took another legal step to try and overturn the murder conviction of his son.

      Bill Ferguson filed a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.

      The petition claims Ryan Ferguson is innocent of the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt.

      Ryan Ferguson is serving 40 years in prison for the murder of Heitholt. A petition filed at the Cole County Courthouse states Ryan Ferguson has no direct ties to Heitholt TMs murder. There TMs no physical evidence that places Ferguson at the scene of the crime. The only circumstantial evidence against Ferguson was the testimony of Ferguson TMs former friend Chuck Erickson and former Tribune employee Jerry Trump. Both of those witnesses have now admitted that their trial testimony was false.

      Bill Ferguson said, It TMs taken us all of this time to gather the evidence and go through all of the appeals so we could be in a position to submit it. Now, that day has come. This will be the start of Ryan TMs freedom.

      The petition also claims former Prosecutor and now Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane committed perjury during Ferguson TMs trial by manipulating witnesses. Bill Ferguson is optimistic about his son TMs future.

      Bill Ferguson said, I would say within the 6 to 9 months that he could be free. Maybe sooner, it could be sooner.

      A Cole County judge must now decide whether Ryan Ferguson deserves a hearing that could produce a new trial or overturn his murder conviction. Bill Ferguson hopes court officials decide on that hearing within the next 2 to 3 months.

      During Ferguson TMs trial, Chuck Erickson testified he beat Kent Heitholt with a tire tool and then Ryan Ferguson strangled Heitholt to death with a belt.

      Erickson now says he beat and strangled Heitholt all by himself.

      Original story:

      A Columbia father took another legal step to try and overturn the murder conviction of his son.

      Bill Ferguson filed a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus at the Cole County Courthouse.

      The petition claims Ryan Ferguson is innocent of the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt.

      Ryan Ferguson is serving 40 years in prison.

      The petition claims former prosecutor and now Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane committed perjury during Ferguson TMs trial.

      The petition also states Ryan Ferguson has no direct ties to Heitholt TMs murder.

      No physical evidence placed Ferguson at the scene of the crime.

      The only circumstantial evidence against Ferguson was the testimony of Ferguson TMs former friend Chuck Erickson and former Tribune employee Jerry Trump.

      Both of those witnesses have now admitted that their trial testimony was false.

      A Cole County Judge must now decide whether Ferguson deserves a hearing that could produce a new trial or overturn Ferguson TMs murder conviction.

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