Ryan Ferguson, Advocate for the Wrongfully Convicted, to Speak at the Press Club of Southwest Florida Feb. 27

Please note New Date for February’s Luncheon

Friday, February 27


On Nov. 1, 2001, Kent Heitholt, sports editor for the Columbia (Missouri) Daily Tribune, was murdered in the newspaper’s parking lot around 2:10 am.

Two years later, a young man named Charles Erickson began publicly sharing recurring dreams that he and his former Rock Bridge High School classmate Ryan Ferguson were involved.

The result: 19-year-old Ryan Ferguson was sentenced to 40 years in prison based almost exclusively on eye witness accounts from teenage dreamer Erickson and Tribune janitor Jerry Trump.

Ryan Ferguson

Ryan Ferguson

In April of 2012, Trump and Erickson faced possible perjury charges and finally admitted they had lied at Ferguson’s original trial.

Ferguson’s conviction was vacated by the State of Missouri on Nov. 5, 2013, on the basis that the prosecution withheld evidence from the defense team. He was released Nov. 13, 2013, after spending almost a decade in prison.

Ryan Ferguson Portrait

Ferguson’s ordeal has been covered by numerous national media including “48 Hours,” “Dateline,” “Anderson Cooper 360,” “TODAY” and “Good Morning America” to name a few.

Stronger, Faster, Smarter

His first book, “Stronger, Faster, Smarter,” hit bookstores in January 2015 and highlights his self-awareness, healthy living and fitness evolution.

An untitled documentary, produced by filmmaker Andrew Jenks, is also set for release this year.

An author, fitness expert, speaker and advocate for the wrongfully convicted, Ferguson is equally passionate about the importance of establishing greater accountability in the judicial system.

Ferguson is a resident of Fort Myers.

The event will take place on Friday, Feb. 27 from 11:30 – 1:30 at the Hilton Naples, 5111 Tamiami Trail North in Naples.


Primary: Bronzed Breast of Chicken and Tomato Basil Bisque

Alternate: Gluten Free or Vegetarian Entree (Chef’s Choice) upon request

Dessert: Red Velvet Cake

For tickets, visit Eventbrite.com.

Advance reservations are required.

For information, email rsvp@naplespressclub.org.

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