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tv   Nightline  ABC  November 14, 2013 12:35am-1:06am PST

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♪ now ♪ let me go ♪ i just can't look it's killing me ♪ ♪ it's taking control ♪ jealousy turn it to the sea 26 lullaby choking on your alibi ♪ ♪ but it's just the price i pay destiny is calling me ♪ ♪ open up my eager eyes ♪ boss i'm mr. brightside ♪ because i'm mr. brightside
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♪ well i'm living ♪ ♪ ♪ well i never well i never well i never ♪ ♪ ♪ [ cheers and applause ]
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tonight on "nightline" -- [ cheers and applause ] >> it is the first day of freedom for ryan ferguson after nearly a decade in jail convicted of murder after his classmate accused him. we are talking to the juror who says he made a costly mistake. >> she has been called the face of failure. her photo mocked and memeed launching a hunt to find out who is this mystery woman behind obama care online. tonight she opens up to abc's amy robach. >> why do you want to speak out now? >> thank you, thank you. >> and anything for a laugh? what you are watching is a joke.
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but it sure didn't seem like it for the unsuspecting celebrities. yes, funnyman, sasha baron when our little girl was born, we goword. she said hert (little girl) no! saw her first day of school. (little girl) bye bye! made a best friend forever. the back seat of my subaru is where she grew what? (announcer) the subaru forester. (girl) what? (announcer) motor trend's two thousand fourteen sport utility of the year. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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>> announcer: from new york city, this is "nightline" with juju chang. good evening. thank you for joining us. it is a case that boggles the mind. after serving years in prison for murder, he always said he didn't commit, today ryan ferguson enjoyed his first full day of freedom. how did this bright-eyed college student end up losing nearly a decade of his life behind bars. we tracked done a juror who voted to convict him who now says he has a gut wrenching message to share. here is "nightline's" dan abrahams. >> reporter: today, ryan
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ferguson woke up a free man. having spent all most all of his 20s in prison for a crime he always maintained he did not commit. [ cheers and applause ] >> just hugged my parents. hung out with them for a while. i knew that i wanted to go to my favorite steakhouse. steak and family the second you get out. can't beat that. >> reporter: ferguson was convicted for the brutal murder of this beloved journalist in 2001. the crime scene outside the newspaper where he worked, littered with physical evidence, bloody footprints. fingerprints and even hair. but none of it matched ryan. so how did he end up behind bars in the first place? it certainly wasn't what ryan told police when he was questioned. >> i am innocent. >> you are innocent of killing this guy. >> i am innocent of being, i am not involved in this in any way. >> reporter: again and again. he denied knowing anything about the murder.
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>> that's exactly what i said to you earlier, man. i didn't, oh, my god. trying to get me admit to something that i didn't do. >> reporter: ryan spoke to us from prison shortly before his release. >> you know, i did everything i could to help them. i had nothing to hide. i want to show them that, you know i got nothing to do with this. look at the facts. let me go. i got midterms to study for. not fact or fiction. it is developing the case against you. >> reporter: the case was built almost entirely on the testimony of two alleged eyewitnesses -- charles eriksson, a childhood friend of ryan's. came forward two years after the murder, claiming he had dreamlike visions that he and ryan committed the krcrime together. but he deidn't seem to know details. >> yeah. >> but you don't know what it was? >> no. >> reporter: in his trial testimony however, he seemed to
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remember everything. >> he was down here. he had a belt, he had his, his foot on his back on the victim's back. he was pulling up on the felt. >> a second witness, identified ferguson as one of two men he saw in the parking lot after the murder. >> would you point to the individual or individuals, please. >> yes. >> reporter: it was enough for a jury to convict. >> we the jury, find that the defendant, ryan ferguson, guilty of murder in the second degree. >> reporter: tonight we spoke by phone to a member of the jury who asked that we not show his picture or reveal his name. why did the jury decide to convict ryan ferguson. >> probably for me, the two witnesses, two eyewitnesses, eriksson, pulled weight in our mind. >> was it unanimous on the jury? >> pretty well. everybody had the same feeling. because of mr. eriksson and mr.
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trump. yes he was guilty. >> it also turns out the prosecution withheld crucial information. ryan's new lawyer is kathleen zelner. >> state your name for the record. >> reporter: like the circumstances surrounding janitor's jerry trumping ability to identify ryan. a conversation with trump's wife that would have undermined his testimony. the other janitor learned that the two men are the scene were not ferguson and eriksson. >> i said it wasn't them. i told my boyfriend the i told everybody i knew. >> the wasn't them? >> yeah. >> reporter: there were witnesses who could have backed up ryan's account when he left the bar that night as well. >> there was a witness saw them at this point here. saw them, walked to the car. waves. made a left hand turn and proceeded to take her home. >> i felt like nobody listened
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for the most part. i think that its the overwhelming feeling. you are just a pawn in the system. >> reporter: apparently ryan any defense attorney didn't help matters either. >> i belief that ryan would have had a better trial lawyer. things might have been different. mr. rodgers, very hard to follow him. he was fumbling around. not very with it, i didn't think. >> my attorney, he really didn't do a lot of the things that the he said he was going to do. he was -- not personable. he was very dry. you know? one literally fell asleep while he was talking. you see how the jury is looking. they're not responsive. >> right before the jury rendered its rer dikt were you confidence they would come back with a not guilty verdict. >> i was not. i think to a large degree, you know the jury -- they really just wanted to be out of there. they wanted to be done with it. i think they were more concerned with, the cardinals playoff games.
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>> reporter: then the kicker. in the years after that 2005 conviction, both of the crucial prosecution witnesses recanted their testimony. first eriksson admit to ryan's attorney he had not been truthful. >> things happened much differently than i had previously stated. i regret now that i put an innocent man through that. he didn't deserve it. >> reporter: ryan got a new hearing last year. eriksson, then admitted under oath that he died. >> i have lied to everybody. >> then the jen tor-- then the janitor took the stand saying he lied at the previous trial. a sex offender, police tried to -- >> i would look to have forgiveness from ryan. >> as you listen to eriksson and trump, recant what they said during the trial, were you sad,
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angry, relieved? >> i was relieved. at the same time i felt sorry for them and what they had been through, mostly because based on the facts and evidence as i have seen them, they were lied to. they were threatened. they were manipulated into this position. where they have actually -- destroyed another person's life. the prosecutor in my whole opinion took advantage of them. but i think the prosecutor's responsibility. me still won't admit to any act, that he has done. i don't think he ever will. i can't respect that. i will never forgive that. >> once it was clear there was no remaining evidence. ryan ferguson still doesn't released. the new judge, daniel green didn't believe eriksson's most recent account was credible to overturn the conviction. even if eriksson was lying or wrong or dreaming again, ryan's story never changed. >> when i read the finding i was shocked.
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judge green made a lot of big, mistakes. simple mistakes. i looked at that. >> there is no case in the united states where ate person has remained incarcerated when the only two witnesses against them have recanted. >> after a year and a half more behind bars, finally, last week, an appellate court overturned the ruling, finding newly discovered evidence, clearly and convincingly establishes that he is innocent. then the missouri attorney general's office announced it will not retry or pursue further action against ryan ferguson at this time. meaning, ryan ferguson was a free man. today the juror would look to sit down with ryan. >> what would you say to him? apologize 1,000 times. that would be enough. i thought of writing him. i thought maybe -- foerz fryan
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part is excited to move forward and make up for an awful lot of lost time. >> i have been preparing for the past decade to live my life. i will take advantage of a whole lot of opportunities. if there aren't a lot of opportunities. i will make my own. i am looking forward to it. an interesting process. i have a lot of help and support. it will be good. >> our thanks to dan foreign the repor -- our thanks to dan for the report. >> up next, the woman the face of the obama care website has reamend anonymous until now. we have the exclusive interview. plus, how much would you pay to drive in super hero style? batman fans? we hope you have been saving up. ♪ ♪ four simple words where the meaning has never been lost.
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tonight you are about to meet a young wife and mother who has been in hiding. they call her the face of fiasco. ever since her photo was plastered on the official obama care website she has been livingen a world of seer bullying and hate. on line the hunt was on to find out who is this mystery woman? for the first time stepping forward in an exclusive interview with abc's amy robach. >> reporter: the face that launched a frenzied hunt. >> that smiling lady? >> have you seen the mystery
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girl? >> reporter: as frustrations with the obama care website mounted people turned their attention to the mystery woman on the home page. until now her identity remained a secret. why do you want to speak out now? >> i deserve a chance to tell people who i am. and just let everybody else say what they want. >> reporter: so who is the woman who was the face of the obama care website? >> i am a mother. i am a wife. i'm not a professional model. >> reporter: you didn't sign up for this? >> no, no. i think people do recognize me. they just don't come to me and say anything. >> reporter: adriana who asked we not use her last name is from colombia and not a u.s. citizen though is eligible to apply for health care under her permanent residency status. >> i have been here for six and a half years legally. i have been here before, married to my husband, came to work
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summers legally. >> reporter: the picture was to be a typical stock photo. tell me how you first were approached about taking the photographs, what happened? >> just a photo shoot that was going to be for the family. we signed the release said it was supposedly going to be used for material for promoting the health care. so we were aware of that. we didn't know it was going to have a negative impact. >> reporter: did you know you were going to be on the front page of the website? >> when the pictures were taken, no. they were taking pictures of other people too. just going to be on the stock library. >> what do you think it is about you that you represent that made your picture be the front page? >> i represented all races, white, asian, and it was funny because -- i'm none of that. >> reporter: you are colombian. >> i am. >> reporter: she never anticipated it would quickly become a laughingstock. when did things start to get
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ugly? >> we found out through friend and family that -- have seen the news, and so we went online. >> reporter: what was your reaction? >> upsetting, sad. >> reporter: dubbed glitch girl. the most despised face on the planet. did you ever anticipate this publicity, scrutiny? >> no. i mean they just, drew things on my face. a beard. a mustache. a hat. you know all sorts of things. >> reporter: there is even a fake account on twitter with your face? >> yes, i saw that. >> reporter: why are people so fascinated with you do you think? >> i don't know. >> reporter: the question you have to ask them. >> yeah, yes. i think a lot of people just hide behind their compute tire say whatever they want. and to be cruel. and try to ruin somebody else's life. there is no reason why they should hate me. because it's just a photo. >> reporter: hatch you ever
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experienced anything like this before in your life? >> this is actually the reason i wanted to be here. as a kid, i never went through that. but now i am. you know, it's some sort of bullying. >> reporter: it is bullying. >> but at the same time, you know, i thought, i had to do this. for my child. you know, he is only 21 months. he is not going to understand this in the future. we are going to show him all of this. he is going to be proud, because i am here to stand up for myself. and defend myself. and let people know, the truth. >> reporter: adding insult to injury, she says she wasn't paid for the photo. >> dead you caid you call and sy photo down? this is not what i signed up for? >> i e-mailed. and decided to take it down. it was even worse.
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everybody was curious? >> where did she go? >> actually. >> reporter: made things worse? >> even worse. >> reporter: your identity did not decrease when they took your photo off? it increased? >> yes. >> reporter: do you have any regrets now? >> no, i don't regret anything. because i will forget about this. and i will move on. why should i regret anything? i dent do anything wrong. >> fewer than 27,000 people have managed to enroll for obama care the first month through healthcare.gov. one government official told us they only took down adriana's photo because "health care.gov" is a dynamic website. thanks to amy robach for the report. >> comedian sasha cohen is disturbing the peace with a
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tonight's feed frenzy asks you to put a price on it. 83 million dollars, the most anybody has ever spent on a jewel. today at sotheby's an anonymous buyer set the record on the pink star diamond. meanwhile every woman is hoping it was her lover. if that is out of your price range maybe you have enough to help batman return to the road for the price of $110,000 you can get your hand on the steering wheel of the batmobile.
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positively cheap compared to the tv bat mobile which sold for $4.6 million earlier this year. of course you can't put a price tag on good health. for the sochi olympics, the russians have a clever plan to get everybody in shape. letting travelers earn their train ticket by paying for it with 30 squats. some folks will go after what they want at any cost. >> this is -- this is for you. >> sasha baron cohen played a nasty trick on bbc america. after attempting to administer cpr to the victim, the comedian made light of life and death. this is obviously a tragedy, but on the bright side, what a great way to go. plus she will make the oscars memory segment. >> now that is some one that wi

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