GIST: "A judge has denied a man's request to be released from prison after he claimed Boone County prosecutors and Columbia police coerced him into confessing to a murder. The judge said in the order that Erickson never raised an issue during his guilty plea and no longer has a right to challenge his case. Erickson filed the petition in Pike County, where his prison is located, alleging that Boone County prosecutors and Columbia police coerced him into confessing to the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt on Halloween night 2001. In 2004, Erickson confessed and pleaded guilty to the crime, while Ryan Ferguson pleaded not guilty. Because of his confession and story, Erickson became a key witness for the prosecution's case against Ferguson in December 2005. During the trial, Ferguson's defense attempted to poke holes in Erickson's then-recollection of the murder."

The entire  story can be read at:

For background read previous post at the link below: "PASSAGE THREE OF THE DAY: "During their marathon interrogation, the police employed coercive methods to wrench a confession from Charles—even though he lacked any personal knowledge of Mr. Heitholt’s murder. Many of the tactics police and prosecutors employed against Charles to accomplish this goal mirror the “Reid Technique”—a once widely used, and now widely criticized, interrogation protocol that relies on deceit and false evidence ploys to pressure interrogation subjects to confess to crimes."

See also Columbia Daily Tribune story at the link below: (Erickson attorney vows to keep fighting:
Charles Erickson’s attorney says despite a Tuesday ruling denying his client’s release, the fight is not over. Livingston County Judge Milan Berry on Tuesday denied a writ of habeas corpus that would have required the state to prove why Erickson should still be imprisoned for the 2001 murder of Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt. In the one-page order, Berry wrote that Erickson voluntarily pleaded guilty in November 2004 to the crime and failed to raise a challenge during sentencing or in a timely manner afterward. “Therefore petitioner has procedurally defaulted on his claim that his sentence and conviction violated the laws or Constitution of the State of Missouri, or that his conviction violated the Constitution of the United States,” Berry wrote. Erickson is serving a 25-year sentence and is eligible for parole in 2023. While he has been incarcerated, Erickson has been sentenced twice for violence against prison guards or another inmate and is serving those sentences concurrently to the sentence from Boone County. Landon Magnusson, who has been representing Erickson pro bono throughout the Livingston County case, said he was disappointed with the judge’s decision and will be meeting with his client Wednesday afternoon. “We are disappointed,” he said. “I hate to be a man of few words right now, but I think that’s just the best way to say it. We are disappointed. I will be speaking with (Charles Erickson) this afternoon.” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, whose office represented the state, issued a statement Wednesday saying justice had been served in the original case and the ruling on Erickson’s petition. “Violently taking someone’s life is a heinous act against another human being. He was found guilty and now should be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law,” Schmitt said. “Charles Erickson will serve out his sentence for his unforgivable actions. Justice has already been served, and now it will be carried out.” Magnusson said because the case centers around a writ, he will start anew with another petition rather than appealing to a higher court. “The way writs work, it’s not an appeal,” Magnusson said. “It’s more like doing it anew. We will file a new, original writ before taking this to the court of appeals. It isn’t over yet. We disagree with the ruling and we will seek to obtain his freedom still.” Erickson confessed to the killing in March 2004, telling police he had “dream-like” memories of he and Ryan Ferguson robbing Heitholt. A Missouri Western District Court of Appeals panel in November 2013 vacated Ferguson’s convictions for second-degree murder and first-degree robbery. Magnusson, in the petition, argued Erickson was innocent of the crime and still had the right to challenge his conviction despite his guilty plea. He claimed his client was a victim of a coerced confession at the hands of Columbia police and a malicious prosecution by now judge Kevin Crane. In a response filed April 5, the state argued that Erickson’s claim of actual innocence — a standard of review to prove a charged defendant did not commit a crime — falls short given the evidence in the case. Assistant Attorney General Michael Spillane wrote in the response that Erickson admitted the crime to others prior to ever speaking with police and also gave them details known only to authorities. Spillane wrote that Erickson’s attorneys told him they could challenge the confession, but he was adamant in professing his guilt, even well into his sentence."