Hearing ends over Columbia newspaper editor’s death

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A central Missouri judge is to decide this summer whether to overturn the conviction of a Columbia man for the 2001 murder of a newspaper sports editor.

Cole County Judge Dan Green heard testimony this week on whether to set aside the conviction and 40-year sentence of Ryan Ferguson for the slaying of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/HYAs0a ) that the hearing concluded Friday. Written arguments in the case are due June 15, and Green says he will rule shortly thereafter. Regardless, the case could be reviewed by Missouri appellate courts.

During the weeklong hearing, another man imprisoned for the killing testified that he lied about Ferguson’s role. A former janitor at the newspaper recanted previous testimony about seeing Ferguson at the scene.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

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