COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri man who spent nearly ten years in prison for a murder authorities now confirm he did not commit is free today.
There was celebration Tuesday night following Ryan Ferguson's release from prison..
It's a celebration, that started hours earlier.
"The second they took the shackles off me I got to hug my mother. She was crying a little bit kinda got me," Ferguson said.
Appearing on NBC's Today Show with his family and attorneys this morning, Ferguson said he hadn't slept since his release.
He had spent nearly a decade behind bars for a murder in Missouri for which he always maintained his innocence.
"To get arrested and charged for a crime you didn't commit is incredibly easy and you can lose your life, but to get out of prison it takes and army," said Ferguson.
Ferguson's case gained national attention because high school classmate, Chuck Erickson claimed to have recalled through dreams years after the fact that he and Ferguson killed the sports editor of a Columbia, Missouri newspaper.
Erickson has since recanted his testimony and last week a state appeals court overturned Ferguson's conviction.
Ferguson says he's nearly finished writing a book about his experiences.
"I'm going to move forward and i definitely feel good about the future."
It's a future that now includes freedom.
Chuck Erickson remains in prison because heavy drug use prevents him from saying for certain he was not involved in the murder of the newspaper editor.
But he is certain Ryan Ferguson did not do it.
Dateline NBC will have more of Ryan Ferguson's remarkable story this Friday night.
Raw video of Ryan Ferguson and his family leaving the Boone County Jail in Columbia, Mo. Earlier Tuesday Mo. Attorney General Chris Koster announced the state will not re-try Ferguson for the 2001 death of Kent Heitholt.