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Trial for the murder of Columbia Tribune sports ed

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  • Trial for the murder of Columbia Tribune sports ed

    Chuck Erickson says he confessed to the brutal slaying of Kent Heitholt because his conscience demanded it and the victim’s family deserved justice. His alleged accomplice, Ryan Ferguson, contends the admission is a product of Erickson’s imagination and prompting by investigators.

    By SARA AGNEW of the Tribune's staff
    Published Sunday, October 16, 2005
    A busted costume party brought Chuck Erickson and Ryan Ferguson together on Halloween night four years ago.

    Erickson had decided to go home after police raided the party in the Highridge neighborhood that he had gone to with three friends.
    It was 10:30 on Wednesday night, and the 17-year-old Rock Bridge High School junior had school the next day. Besides, Erickson had missed his ride with Jon Cole, David Igleheart and Scott Turner, and he didn't want to get stuck trying to explain himself to police while he was buzzed on drugs and alcohol.

    Erickson's house was nearby, so he turned onto Highridge Drive and began walking home.

    Earlier in the evening, he had dressed for the party at Cole's house, where his friend's parents had a stash of '70s clothes in a basement storage area. He picked out a pair of bell-bottom jeans and a wide-collared, light-blue shirt that buttoned down the front. On his feet, he wore a pair of old penny loafers.

    That's how he looked when Ferguson spotted him walking down the sidewalk.

    "Hey, Chuck!"

    Erickson approached Ferguson's 1993 blue Mercedes-Benz and got in.

    Four hours later, Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt, 48, was found dead in a pool of blood beside his car in a parking lot north of the Tribune building at 101 N. Fourth St.

    Two janitors hired to clean the Tribune offices told police they saw two college-age men near Heitholt's car that night. Their descriptions became a composite drawing, but police were unable to identify any suspects.

    The rest here
    Dude. Can. Fly.