Columbia Officers Not Covered by Qualified Immunity in Ferguson Case

A judge has ruled 6 Columbia Police Officers are not covered by qualified immunity in a lawsuit filed by Ryan Ferguson.

Ferguson was convicted of the 2001 murder of Kent Heitholt and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Ferguson’s friend, Charles Erickson, pleaded guilty to the killing and testified against Ferguson, but later recanted.


A court of appeals overturned the conviction on a Brady Violation, meaning evidence that could prove exculpatory was withheld.

Ferguson filed a lawsuit against officers John Short, Jeff Westbrook, Bryan Liebhart, Jeff Nichols and Latisha Stroer for violating his constitutional rights.

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