Could Ferguson hearing lead to freedom?

Case expected to be appealed either way ruling goes

Security likely will be more complicated this week for those doing business in the Cole County Courthouse.

Circuit Judge Dan Green has scheduled all five days to hear evidence in Ryan Ferguson’s request to be freed from his Boone County conviction and 40-year prison sentence, for the Nov. 1, 2001, murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

The Ferguson case has attracted national attention, with both the CBS News magazine “48 Hours” and NBC’s “Dateline” program having already carried hour-long shows about the case and its complications.

No matter which side wins Green’s final ruling, an appeal to the Kansas City appeals court is expected.

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