Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday at 9/8c: Will a lie keep Ryan Ferguson in prison?

aturday at 9/8c: The Accuser (Special time)

Ryan Ferguson, 28, is locked up in a Missouri prison serving out a 40-year sentence for a murder he says he didn't commit. He has spent his entire adult life fighting to clear his name. Now, his accuser says the testimony that put Ferguson in jail was all a lie.

Ferguson was convicted of killing Kent Heitholt, a popular newspaper sports editor in Columbia, Mo., in 2001. There is no physical evidence that ties Ferguson to the murder and he has always insisted he had nothing to do with it.

Ferguson was convicted primarily on the word of a high school friend by the name of Charles Erickson. Erickson has since recanted and said he lied at Ferguson's 2005 trial.

For the first time, and exclusively to "48 Hours", Erickson agreed to speak with correspondent Erin Moriarty and revealed new details about his confession that put both men in prison. "I knew that I sold Ryan out," he tells Moriarty in "The Accuser," airing Saturday at 9/8c on CBS.

Erickson is not the only witness who has recanted; so did Jerry Trump, a janitor and ex-con who had testified that he saw Ferguson at the crime scene.

More important, both Erickson and Trump admitted to lying under oath at a hearing held in April 2012.

Will anyone believe Erickson's new claims or is he simply lying again? Will Ferguson serve out his sentence?

Watch a sneak peek


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