he city of Columbia and Boone County have been dropped as defendants in a $100 million federal civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of a man with a vacated murder conviction.
The 50-page suit says Columbia, Mo., police fabricated evidence against Ryan Ferguson, bullied witnesses and ignored other leads in their investigation into the 2001 killing of Kent Heitholt, a Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor.
Columbia school officials say they weren’t censoring student journalists when they barred a man who served nearly eight years in prison for the slaying of a newspaper sports editor from coming on campus during school hours.
A judge has ordered a man whose murder conviction in the slaying of a newspaper sports editor was overturned to be released from state prison but into the custody of Boone County.
The decision Tuesday by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster means that Ryan Ferguson could be released from prison soon.
Ferguson was 19-years-old when Columbia Tribune editor Kent Heithold was killed in 2001. Four years later, Ferguson was convicted of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery.
Ryan Ferguson was one of two teenagers accused in the beating and strangulation of Kent Heithold outside the Columbia Daily Tribune in 2001.