The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District overturned the murder conviction of Ryan Ferguson.
Ferguson has spent more than a decade in prison for the 2001 death of Columbia Daily Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt. A CBS News 48 Hours crew was there when Bill and Leslie Ferguson first found out their son could soon be free. The state has 2 options. Prosecutors can decide to retry him. They must make that decision within the next 15 days. If they donâ??t, itâ??s likely Ryan Ferguson could be released on bail. Bill Berguson said he looks forward to another trial because of what he calls the lack of evidence against his son.
Bill Ferguson said, â??Iâ??ve always said that you will always get justice if you can just wait long enough. In our case, weâ??ve waited nine and a half years, so we are elated.â??
Leslie Ferguson said hundreds of thousands of people across the country have supported her familyâ??s fight to free her son. She said todayâ??s decision is just another chapter in this story and the battle is not over.
Leslie Ferguson said, â??He should have never been charged. He should have never had to go through a trial and yet he did. Itâ??s difficult not to be angry about that, but you canâ??t let anger consume you. You have to move forward.â??
The next big question is will the State appeal this decision to the State Supreme Court. If that happens, itâ??s not clear whether Ryan Ferguson would get out on bail. Defense attorney Kathleen Zellner said she would fight to get Ferguson his bail no matter what the State decides to do.
The Fergusons are offering a $10,000 reward for any information on the identity of a possible suspect or witness to the crime.
The Fergusons have been publicizing a police sketch of someone who might have been at the crime scene.