- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A man whose conviction in a Missouri sports editor’s death was overturned after spending nearly a decade in prison is closer to seeing his civil lawsuit go to trial.

The Columbia Daily Tribune (https://bit.ly/2iRyHbJ ) reports that U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled Tuesday that six officers aren’t entitled to immunity shielding them from liability in Ryan Ferguson’s case.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had directed Laughrey to clarify the immunity issue after she rejected the officer’s request to dismiss Ferguson’s lawsuit. Ferguson was sentenced to 40 years for Columbia sports editor Kent Heitholt’s 2001 death. Ferguson denied involvement and was released in 2013 after an appeals court ruled the prosecutor withheld evidence.

His 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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