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Millions awarded in Ryan Ferguson settlement

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – A man who served 10 years in prison before his conviction for killing a sports editor in Columbia was thrown out won an $11 million judgment in federal court.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey issued the judgment Monday in a lawsuit filed by Ryan Ferguson, who was released from prison in 2013 in the 2001 killing of Columbia Daily Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Ferguson initially sued Columbia and Boone County and several law enforcement officials for $100 million. Only six current and former Columbia police officers were still defendants in the lawsuit, which alleged they fabricated evidence, coerced witnesses and ignored other suspects.

Ferguson was released after an appeals court ruled he didn’t receive a fair trial because the prosecutor’s office withheld evidence.

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