A man accused of lying during a murder trial will spend time in prison after being sentenced on
Thursday for falsification.
James Ferguson was charged with two counts of falsification for lying on the stand during a 1990
murder trial. At the time, James was Franklin County's chief toxicologist, 10TV's Maureen Kocot
Ferguson was a key witness in the Licking County trial of Virginia LeFever, who was convicted of
poisoning her husband more than two decades ago.
LeFever has maintained her innocence and attorneys representing her argued that Ferguson's lies
should mean a new trial for their client, Kocot reported.
In court, Ferguson admitted he lied about the year he graduated from college, but suggested it
really was not that big of a deal.
"With regard to my expertise, I had 20 years of education training and experience," Ferguson
Licking County Municipal Court Judge Michael Higgins did not allow Ferguson to downplay the
"People who take that witness stand lie all the time, but we simply don't expect it from public
servants and officers of the court," Higgins said.
Ferguson, who served as Franklin County's head toxicologist for 26 years, lied about his
qualifications hundreds of times, Kocot reported.
Ferguson told jurors he graduated from The Ohio State University in 1972, but university records
reveal he did not earn his degree until 1988, Kocot reported.
He pleaded no contest to two counts of falsification in April. He was sentenced to 30 days in
jail and a $1,000 fine, Kocot reported. Prosecutors and defense attorneys are reviewing the LeFever
murder conviction, but a new trial has not yet been granted.
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April 28, 2010:
Testimony Of Key Witness Calls Murder Conviction Into Question