Ryan Ferguson released from Jefferson City prison

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) - Ryan Ferguson, the Missouri man who spent nearly a decade in prison for the murder of a Columbia Tribune sports editor, is a free man.

The Missouri Appeals Court set aside his conviction last week and he was released Tuesday night.

After tasting freedom for the first time in nearly 10 years, Ryan Ferguson greeted reporters, family and friends at a hotel in downtown Columbia. At 29, he has spent almost his entire 20's in prison.

Ryan was convicted in 2005 of the murder of Columbia Tribune sports reporter Kent Heitholt.

From the beginning, he maintained he had nothing to do with it. And the evidence backs that up. All of the forensic evidence collected at the scene, hair, finger printsand foot prints did not match Ryan. And the two witnesses who testified at this trial now say they lied.

On Tuesday an appeals court vacated his conviction and the attorney general’s office said they would not retry Ryan. It’s a day Ryan and his family always believed would come.

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