- Associated Press - Thursday, September 22, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Columbia is battling a lawsuit from a man whose conviction in a sports editor’s death was overturned after he served nearly a decade in prison.

The city argued Wednesday before the federal appeals court in St. Louis that six Columbia police officers should be protected against the claims in Ryan Ferguson’s $100 million civil lawsuit. The Columbia Daily Tribune (https://bit.ly/2croNwa ) reports that judges will consider the city’s immunity appeal before ruling.

Ferguson was sentenced to 40 years for the 2001 killing of Kent Heitholt, a Columbia sports editor. Ferguson denied any involvement and was released in 2013 after an appeals court panel ruled he didn’t receive a fair trial because the prosecutor withheld evidence.

The lawsuit alleges that detectives fabricated evidence, coerced witnesses and failed to investigate other possible suspects.

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

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