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Nicaraguan Court Overturns Eric Volz Conviction

By David Lohr

December 18, 2007


SAN JUAN DEL SUR, Nicaragua (Crime Library) — A Nicaraguan appeals court has overturned the conviction of 28-year-old Eric Volz, an American real estate broker and magazine publisher, who was wrongfully convicted of the murder of his girlfriend, 25-year-old Doris Ivania Jimenez. Unfortunately, Eric remains behind bars, allegedly detained illegally as a result of the convicting judge.

On Monday the Nicaraguan Appellate Court ruled 2-1 in favor of Eric's appeal, threw out his murder conviction and ordered his immediate release from prison. However, as of this writing, Eric allegedly remains in police custody. According to a family spokesperson, the convicting judge, Ivette Toruno, has failed to sign the release papers. Toruno was supposed to provide the papers to Eric's attorney, Fabbrith Gomez, at 2:00 p.m. yesterday, but when Gomez went to the courthouse he was informed that Toruno had left earlier that afternoon and was not expected to return until today.

"Every minute that Eric stays in jail is such a concern for us," Eric's mother, Maggie Anthony, said in an interview with CNN last night. "We're more fearful for his life right now than we ever have been. We're so frightened for him."

Nicaragua Map
Nicaragua Map

Considering the country's attorney general has already vowed to appeal the ruling in a higher court, one can't help but wonder if Toruno is purposely delaying Eric's release while the appeal papers are filed. Yesterday a spokesperson for Eric's family told the media that Eric planned on leaving the country immediately upon his release — something I doubt the attorney general would like to see happen, as extradition could prove to be difficult. This is of course only speculation. Right?

On the afternoon of November 21, 2006, police were called to a local clothing store to investigate the murder of the store's owner, 25-year-old Doris Ivania Jimenez. The store had been ransacked and robbed, and the young woman had been raped and strangled. The police quickly arrested two local surfers for the crimes. However, suspicion soon turned to Doris's ex-boyfriend.

Eric Volz
Eric Volz

In 2005, Eric Volz, then 25, decided to move from his hometown of San Diego, California to Nicaragua where he was offered a high paying job selling real estate for a franchise of Century 21. Not long after accepting this new job, Eric met Doris at a local restaurant where she was employed as a waitress. The two hit it off and eventually moved in together.

Eric had his eye on the future and soon decided to take the plunge into the world of publishing. His idea was to start a bilingual magazine about foreign investments in Nicaragua. Using money he earned from selling real estate, Eric funded his idea and called the magazine "El Puente," meaning the bridge. The magazine quickly proved to be a success, and Eric was soon on his way towards a bright and promising future.

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