Ryan Ferguson was freed from a Missouri prison yesterday after serving eight years for the murder of a Columbia, Mo., newspaper editor a dozen years ago, reports the Kansas City Star. “To get arrested and to get charged for a crime you didn't commit is incredibly easy, and you lose your life very fast,” said Ferguson, 29. “But to get out of prison, it takes an army.” Last week, a Missouri appeals court set aside Ferguson’s 40-year sentence, saying the prosecution withheld evidence that could have helped his defense. “His verdict is not worthy of confidence,” the court declared.
Prosecutors declined to seek a new trial in a case that has been featured on television programs including “Dateline” and “48 Hours.” Judge Kevin Crane, who was the prosecutor in the original case, stood by his earlier judgment. “I obviously think he's good for the offense, or I wouldn't have prosecuted him.” Crane said.