Friends of Kent Heitholt speak out

Heitholt was killed on Halloween night 2001 in the Columbia Daily Tribune parking lot

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Friends of Kent Heitholt say there is a whole other side to Ryan Ferguson story Tuesday.

Ferguson was convicted in 2005 of killing Kent Heitholt, the sports editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune. That conviction was overturned Tuesday by the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals.

Heitholt's friends told ABC 17 News that people still need to remember that an innocent man was murdered.

They say everyone can look at it one of two ways: either Ferguson committed the crime and is getting away with it, or he should not have been in prison altogether. Either way, they believe it leaves them feeling unsatisfactory.

"You wish there would have been some sort of closure or a verdict everyone could have gotten behind and agreed to and would have been the right one," said Joe Walljasper, friend and former coworker of Heitholt. "We're left out and wondering whether that had happened or not."

Coworkers say after 12 years, it's stressful to know nothing has been resolved. After so many appeals and stories written, the situation has become surreal.

"It would be nice if you could feel convinced one way or the other that justice had been served or they should be out looking for who really did it," said Walljasper.

Heitholt's friends say if you feel justice or injustice, it doesn't change the fact that an innocent man is dead.

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