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Lawyer: New filing provides greater proof of innocence

Ryan Ferguson’s attorney said Friday her new, 92-page filing contains new information helping prove Ferguson’s innocence of his 2005 murder conviction.

“I think these are the most important papers that have ever been filed in Ryan Ferguson’s case,” attorney Kathleen Zellner, of Downer’s Grove, Ill., told reporters Friday outside the Cole County Courthouse, after filing the documents with interim Circuit Clerk Marilue Hemmel.

Ferguson, now 27 and an inmate at the Jefferson City Correctional Center, is seeking a court order releasing him from his 40-year prison sentence after a Lincoln County jury convicted him, in an October 2005 Boone County trial, of second-degree murder in the death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt outside the newspaper.

Ferguson also was convicted of first-degree robbery in the case, and was sentenced to 30 years for the murder, to be followed by 10 years for the robbery.

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