A Habeas hearing for Ryan Ferguson is set for October 25th. Ferguson is in prison now after being convicted in the killing of Columbia Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt.
Defense attorneys will present the evidence they believe shows their client was wrongfully convicted.
Ferguson’s attorney Kathleen Zellner says she’s optimistic about the hearing, and that though it’s a 10-year-old case, it’s appropriate that each side take the time for the due process of depositions and discovery. She’s not second guessing how long it will take for a decision to be handed down from the October 25 hearing though.
A jury convicted Ferguson largely on the testimony of Charles Erickson, a former high school friend. Erickson now says he acted alone, recanting his testimony that Ferguson was involved. That admission is what Ferguson’s attorneys are standing on in this post conviction appeal.
Zellner says there is no other evidence that suggests Ferguson was involved.
Kent Heitholt was killed Halloween night — strangled — as he was leaving work late at night.
Ryan’s father, Bill Ferguson, says he and his son are cautiously optimistic, and believe that the wheels of justice do turn, although ever so slowly.