WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Man once convicted of Missouri murder freed, won't be retried

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri man freed after his murder conviction was overturned is thanking what he describes as "an army" of supporters who backed his claims of innocence.

Ryan Ferguson was released Tuesday from prison, after the attorney general decided not to retry him for the 2001 slaying of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

His release came one week after a state appeals court panel overturned Ferguson's conviction. The court said the prosecutor's office withheld evidence from Ferguson's attorneys and he didn't get a fair trial.

Ferguson's case gained attention because his high school classmate, Chuck Erickson, claimed to have recalled through dreams he and Ferguson had killed Heitholt during a late-night robbery. Erickson has since recanted his testimony but is still in prison.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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