Court of Appeals overturns Ryan Ferguson conviction

Ryan Ferguson

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District has vacated the conviction of Ryan Ferguson in a 2001 felony murder case. Ferguson was convicted on the testimony of Charles Erikson in the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

Ferguson and his attorneys argued that newly discovered evidence showed he was innocent and claimed that his due process rights were violated, depriving him of a fair trial.

On Tuesday morning, the Court of Appeals concluded that Ferguson "has established the gateway of cause and prejudice, permitting review of his procedurally defaulted claim that the State violated Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) by withholding material, favorable evidence of an interview with Barbara Trump, the wife of Jerry Trump, one of the State's key witnesses at trial. The undisclosed evidence renders Ferguson's verdict not worthy of confidence."

His conviction was overturned and Ferguson was ordered discharged from custody, unless the State files to retry him within 15 days.

More on the story from KTVO's sister station, KRCG.