Can New Information Free An Innocent Man? ’48 Hours’ Reports
via press release:
RYAN FERGUSON IS SERVING 40 YEARS FOR MURDER – HIS ACCUSER SAYS IT WAS ALL A LIE – CAN NEW INFORMATION FREE AN INNOCENT MAN?
“48 HOURS: THE ACCUSER”
SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013, 10:00 PM, ET/PT
Ryan Ferguson is in a Missouri prison serving a 40-year sentence for a murder he says he didn’t commit. His accuser now says the testimony that put Ferguson in jail was a lie. But why is Ferguson still behind bars?
“How do so many people get it so wrong that you end up in prison for 40 years for something you didn’t have anything to do with,” Ferguson asks in an updated edition of 48 HOURS: “The Accuser,” to be broadcast Saturday, June 15, 2013 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. “My life was taken because a jury made a decision based off of lies.”
For seven years, Erin Moriarty and the 48 HOURS team have been investigating the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt and the bizarre circumstances that put Ferguson in jail. As Moriarty reports, hair, fingerprints and even bloody footprints were found at the scene – none linked to Ferguson. Then, two years after the murder, Charles Erickson told a friend that he and Ferguson may have killed Heitholt. Erickson told police about the murder but struggled with important details. “It’s just so foggy,” Erickson told a police interrogator.
Based on Erickson’s confession, he and Ferguson were arrested for Heitholt’s murder in 2004. By the time they got to trial, Erickson’s foggy memory was gone and his testimony included key details he didn’t know when he confessed.
Yet, in a recent interview with Moriarty, Erickson said his confession was a lie. “I knew that I sold Ryan out,” he tells Moriarty.
But does anyone believe Erickson’s new claims, or is he simply lying again?
This updated edition of 48 HOURS: “The Accuser” examines Ferguson’s case using interviews with Ferguson, Erickson, family members, a witness who saw two people near Heitholt’s car, and includes the latest from Ferguson’s legal team about his ongoing efforts to get out of jail. Gail Zimmerman is the producer of this broadcast. Doreen Schechter is the producer-editor. Elena DiFiore is the field producer. Joan Adelman and Atticus Brady are the editors. Suzanne Allen is the senior coordinating producer. Linda Martin is the update producer. Judy Tygard is the senior producer. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.