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DC Man Once Wrongfully Convicted of Murder Awarded Scholarship to Oxford

A D.C. man once wrongfully incarcerated for murder has been awarded a scholarship to the prestigious University of Oxford in England.

Brian Ferguson spent 11 years behind bars after he was convicted in the 2002 killing of a fellow West Virginia University college student.

"Unfortunately, I was wrongfully accused and then, ultimately, wrongfully convicted of a homicide that I had nothing to do with and no knowledge of," Ferguson said.

Ferguson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but released with the help of a team of attorneys that included Eric Holder, who would later serve as U.S. attorney general.

For the past two years Ferguson has served as the director of the Mayor's Office on Returning Citizen Affairs, or ORCA, in D.C. and helps recently released prisoners.

"I came home, I lost everything. My condo, my car and my kids," ex-prisoner Tanika Dean told News4.

"He's been a beacon of light for returning citizens. I am myself a returning citizen as well. He's been one of my mentors. He's meant the world to me," said Christopher McNeal, a community outreach specialist who works with Ferguson.


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Ferguson was recently awarded a Marshall Scholarship to study for one year at the University of Oxford in England. He says he hopes to return to D.C. with new skills to help ex-prisoners who need jobs, housing and social services.

"We in this office and in the mayor's office, in general, are setting the trend and setting the example for what re-entry services can look like all across the country," Ferguson said.

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