Freedom did not come easy for a Missouri man whose murder conviction was overturned in the 2001 slaying of a newspaper sports editor.

Ryan Ferguson was released Tuesday evening — one week after an appeals court panel overturned his conviction in the death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

But Ferguson said he first thought he was being sent to solitary confinement when he was told to gather his stuff. Then after his attorney told him he was being freed, prison officials made him change back into an orange jumpsuit and sent him to a county jail.

Ferguson said he feared he was being arrested again but instead was freed from the jail. He received a victor's welcome from supporters at a news conference later in the night.