COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A Columbia police detective is taking a fresh look at a journalist's 2001 slaying after one of two men originally convicted of murder was freed after his case was overturned.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports police are reviewing the sizable case file in the death of former Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, who was strangled and beaten to death in the newspaper's parking lot.
Ryan Ferguson spent nearly a decade in prison, but was released in November after an appeals court panel ruled that prosecutors wrongly withheld evidence from the defenses. Missouri's attorney general opted to not retry Ferguson.
Chuck Erickson continues to serve a 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to killing Heitholt. Ferguson says his former high school classmate is innocent.
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri football team (11-2 overall and Southeastern Conference East Division champions) has accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, set for January 3rd in Arlington, Texas at the world-renowned AT&T Stadium. Kickoff for the game, which will pit the Tigers against former conference foe Oklahoma State (10-2, 2nd place in Big 12), is set for 7pm.
The Cotton Bowl appearance will mark Mizzou's 11th New Year's Day (or later) bowl game in program history, and its first since playing in the 2008 Cotton Bowl against Arkansas. The invitation is a reward for an outstanding season which saw the Tigers post one of the top turnaround years in the nation, going from 5-7 in 2012 to 11-2 - a 6 1/2 game improvement. This is MU's 30th alltime bowl appearance.
"We are honored and excited to accept a bid to play in the Cotton Bowl," said Head Coach Gary Pinkel, who will be making his ninth bowl game appearance in 13 seasons at Mizzou. "We know first-hand just how great of a trip this is, and how first-class of an operation the Cotton Bowl runs. We have a chance to play an outstanding team in Oklahoma State, and this is an opportunity to finish up a special season in front of a great Mizzou crowd," Pinkel said.
This will mark the 78th Cotton Bowl Classic, and the Tigers will be making their third appearance in the tradition-rich game. Mizzou rolled to a 38-7 win over Arkansas in the 2008 game, as TB Tony Temple rushed for a Cotton Bowl-record 281 yards and four touchdowns against the 25th-ranked Razorbacks. That win closed a stellar season for Mizzou, who finished with a 12-2 record and a school-best final ranking of 4th in the final polls. Mizzou's other appearance in the Cotton Bowl was back in 1946, when Texas claimed a 40-27 victory.
"Mizzou is very pleased to be part of the 78th annual Cotton Bowl Classic," said Director of Athletics Mike Alden. "The Cotton Bowl is one of the iconic bowl games in all of college football, and it will be a great reward to our team to have the opportunity to play in AT&T Stadium. We have an outstanding alumni base in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and I know our fans will be excited to see the Tigers come their way once again," he said.
The chairman of the Cotton Bowl is Tommy Bain. Bain said, "We just landed two of the preeminent teams in the country, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Missouri and Oklahoma State are capable of lighting up the scoreboard in a hurry, and defensively, each team is strong. Something is going to have to give come January 3rd. OSU beat three ranked teams in November and one of the nation’s longest winning streaks going into the Oklahoma game. Missouri was absolutely sensational in just its second season in the SEC. The Tigers won the SEC’s Eastern Division and gave Auburn all it wanted in the conference championship game. We can’t wait to get these two teams to Arlington, pamper them with some Texas hospitality, and then prepare for another exciting Classic.”