11 Oct Dan on Nightline: October 10, 2013
Dan anchored Nightline for an episode that called upon his legal expertise and investigation, featuring a story on the case of Ryan Ferguson. Ferguson , 28 years old, has spent almost a decade in a maximum security prison for a brutal murder he, and many others, insist he didn’t commit. Now, he may be days away from freedom. In 2001, Kent Heitholt, a sports journalist at the Columbia Daily Tribune, was found bludgeoned and strangled to death in a parking lot. One of Ferguson’s classmates, Charles Erickson, claimed that he and Ferguson had committed the crime and that it had been Ferguson’s idea. He was charged with murder, but later Erickson admitted he lied and the only two witnesses against him have since recanted their statement. No DNA links him to the crime scene. So why is Ferguson still behind bars? Says Dan, “Imagine you’re a 19-year old college student and the police follow you home asking you questions not about something that happened on campus but about a more than 2-year-old murder you know nothing about. That’s what Ryan Ferguson says happened to him almost 10 years ago, and now he’s serving a 40-year sentence. And it was his friend pointing the finger at him. Tonight, Ryan opens up about his epic fight for freedom.” For the full story, watch the episode here.