Ferguson’s administrative segregation renewed

Bill Ferguson looks for his son Ryan Ferguson during murder trial proceedings in October 2005. Ferguson has been sentenced to 60 more days in administrative segregation. Courtesy of the Columbia Daily Tribune

Ryan Ferguson was sentenced to 60 more days in administrative segregation, or solitary confinement, Monday.

Ferguson was convicted in 2005 of the 2001 slaying of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

A three-person committee met on Monday and decided Ferguson should stay in administrative segregation for the good of the institution citing a prison policy.

“The policy speaks for itself,” Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Hauswirth said. “Anyone determined to be dangerous to other inmates or to the institution can be placed in administrative segregation.”

Ferguson was placed in administrative segregation in August 2007, following his third rule violation.

On Feb. 5, 2007, Ferguson was cited for refusing to submit a urine sample and on Feb. 13, 2007, Ferguson was cited for contraband, which means making, transferring or having an unauthorized substance, Hauswirth said.

On Aug. 16, 2007, Ferguson was cited for his third violation, possessing dangerous contraband.

“It sounds like they found something in his cell,” Ferguson’s father Bill Ferguson said. “It wasn’t in his personal effects or his cellmate’s personal effects, it was in the cell.”

Ferguson has had no rule violations since August.

Ferguson will come before the committee again in April, but he can appeal the committee’s decision.

“There is a grievances process,” Hauswirth said. “When an inmate has a grievance, he can appeal to the Grievance Unit.” Ferguson’s father does not think his son will file an appeal.

“When we talked a couple of weeks ago, he was certain he was going to get another 60 days,” Ferguson said. “That’s what usually happens.”

Hauswirth said there is no way to predict whether Ryan Ferguson will be kept in administrative segregation after his early April hearing, but the committee will consider that he has had no violations since August.Ryan Ferguson’s father, Bill Ferguson, said he does not believe the committee’s recent decision will affect Ryan Ferguson’s upcoming trial.

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