Ryan Ferguson served almost ten years in prison for the murder of Kent Heitholt in 2001. After Kent was discovered battered and strangled in the parking lot of the Columbia Daily Tribune, where he worked as an editor, his murder went unexplained for two years.
Charles Erikson, a friend of Ferguson’s, admitted to authorities that he thought he and Ryan were somehow connected to the murder, which provided a breakthrough in the investigation. Charles was high and drunk that evening and had no memory of what had happened, but the prosecution used his testimony to persuade the judge to condemn Ryan to 40 years in jail for killing Kent.
What Is Ryan Ferguson Doing Now?
The Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals overturned Ryan’s sentence ten years after his conviction. Ryan is a personal trainer with certification and an opponent of wrongful convictions.
Ryan and Dusty Harris, friends from high school, are competitors in season 33 of The Amazing Race. The Amazing Race pits Ryan and Dusty Harris against ten other teams in a race for the top spot.
Dusty said in the caption of a picture of the two,
“I feel grateful to have spent this time with Ryan, and I can’t wait to share the trip.” According to Harris, “the true meaning of making up for a lost time.” “Getting to visit the entire world and completing this. That matters to both of us, I believe.
Ferguson told the Columbia Missourian that when The Amazing Race asked him to take part in the challenge, Dusty was the first person that sprang to mind. One of the only persons who stood by Ryan during his trial and imprisonment was Dusty.
For Ryan, whose previous television appearances have centered on his incorrect conviction, The Amazing Race offers a nice break. He stated:
“‘The Amazing Race is kind of just being yourself and sprinting around the world while being a fool, and you get to display your personality and be crazy.”
According to Harris, he wouldn’t have taken part in the competition as anyone else’s teammate. He assisted Ferguson during his time in prison, and now Ferguson will assist him during his time on reality television.
Harris Added :
We’ve been through hell together and back, and hell has brought us back, so we had to work together once more. For everyone who is going to watch, we attempted to cause mayhem and put on the finest performance we could, and we hope everyone enjoys it.
Ryan’s goal is to assist those who have been wrongly imprisoned in leaving prison.
Ryan claimed that it “takes an army” to free someone from prison shortly after his release. Ferguson gave a press conference after changing out of his prison garb and donning a sweater and shirt, waving at throngs of cheering fans.
Due to the peculiar circumstances of his case, advocacy groups were aware of Ryan’s conviction shortly after it was rendered. After taking on the case pro bono, Kathleen Zellner steadily contributed to exposing the vast weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
The original defense team had not received critical material from the prosecution that may have been used to establish Ferguson’s innocence. Key witnesses for the prosecution, including Erickson and a supervisor at the facility, later retracted their sworn statements.
Shawna Orient, a janitor, claimed in court that the prosecution tried to get her to say that Ferguson was in the parking lot the night of the murder. Shawna said that the prosecution declined to ask her to identify Ferguson during the trial because they were aware that her response would undermine their case. The court determined that there was sufficient evidence to overturn the conviction.
After being released, Ryan addressed the audience, “This is not an anomaly. “I believe that we need to consider other examples and keep in mind that more innocent individuals are incarcerated as a result of this aspect of our justice system.” So be vigilant and offer them your support.
Ryan began his campaign by allowing the media to share his tale. During Ryan’s trial and appeals, his father, Bill Ferguson, started working on the documentary Dream/Killer. The documentary made its debut at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival before being made available on Netflix. Ryan was the host of MTV’s Unlocking the Truth, a program about prisoners who had been unfairly convicted, in 2016.
After Ryan’s incarceration, his father advised him, “You have to do everything to make yourself stronger, quicker, and smarter to live.” His advice led Ryan to write the book “Stronger, Faster, Smarter” about overcoming obstacles in life. In prison, Ryan started lifting weights, and following his release, he earned his certification as a personal trainer.
Is Ryan Ferguson Single? Relationship
Ryan split from his longtime girlfriend Myka Cain and began seeing meteorologist Brigit Mahoney.
Myka Cain couldn’t contain her happiness when the court freed Ryan. Although she had played a significant role in helping him escape from prison, Ryan’s friends had initially doubted her motives. In the summer of 2012, Cain became aware of Ryan’s situation after seeing a news segment about Ferguson’s incorrect conviction.
Ryan received a birthday card from Cain, which sparked their conversation. Later, Ryan permitted Cain to see him inside the Jefferson City Correctional Facility. He, a close friend of Ferguson’s, remarked to The Daily Mail that she thought it strange that Ryan had accepted a visitation request from a stranger. Hamrah and the majority of Ryan’s buddies were concerned about Myka’s motives. Hamrah remarked:
“Like many other people, Myka went looking for him. I mean, I was looking for the crazy in her, someone who corresponds and has a relationship with someone they haven’t spent much time with. similar to anticipating the “Ah, that’s it.” She is there for that reason. But it never materialized.
“He felt there was more to it right away” after she visited him.
Ferguson’s family and friends eventually gained Myka’s trust. Ryan’s campaign for acquittal was led by Bill Ferguson, while Cain toiled in the background as a fearsome foot soldier, repelling any skeptics.
After Ryan’s release, Cain and Ryan briefly appeared to be dating, but their relationship has since ended, with no obvious explanation. Brigit Mahoney, a meteorologist for FOX 2, and Ferguson is presently dating. On occasion, Brigit likes to share images of the couple on Instagram. She shared a picture of the couple kissing at sea in the middle of December 2020.
Ryan has sworn to work for the friend’s freedom who was instrumental in getting him imprisoned.
The ten years Ryan spent behind bars ended successfully: He received $11 million from a federal court as restitution for the incorrect conviction, signed a lucrative book contract, was made the host of an MTV program, and is now leading a fulfilling life with his loved ones. Charles Erickson, a friend of his, is less fortunate.
Charles Erikson was given a 25-year plea deal by the authorities in exchange for his evidence against Ryan. Ryan committed to working for Charles’ release after being cleared. Ryan remarked, “I know that he [Charles] was taken advantage of and exploited, and I kind of feel bad for the guy. “He needs assistance, and encouragement, and doesn’t belong in jail or prison.”
Charles’ initial application for release from jail was denied by a Pike County Circuit Court because he “freely, consciously, and voluntarily” admitted to the crimes. In June 2020, Ryan’s counsel filed an appeal, asserting that Ryan is innocent and that the police’s withholding and fabrication of evidence is the reason he didn’t enter a plea of guilty voluntarily.
Charles’ lawyer, Landon Magnusson, told ABC that “this petition was long overdue.” After serving sixteen years in jail as an innocent man, Charles Erickson now has a second chance to receive justice.
The Ferguson family has pledged a $10,000 reward for information that could lead to the case’s resolution.
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