Sunday, April 8, 2007

Nifonged in Nicaragua: Marks on Eric Volz's Shoulder

Originally published at the Main Blog April 7, 2007

In February, American Eric Volz was convicted in a Nicaraguan Court and sentenced to thirty years in prison for the rape and murder of his former girlfriend, Doris Ivania Jimenez. Despite overwhelming evidence of actual innocence - including statements of at least ten eye witnesses who place him two hours away from the crime scene at the time of the murder, absence of forensic and physical evidence, phone and computer records and recordings, and more - Volz was pronounced guilty after a judicial farce that saw Nicaraguan Judge Ivette Toruno Blanco dismiss or exclude all of the exonerating evidence presented not only by the defense attorneys but also by the prosecutor's forensic experts.
In rationalizing her verdict, Judge Blanco cited the testimony of Dr. Isolda Vanesa Arcia who stated the unsupported opinion that the victim had scratched her attacker while defending herself. (Dr. Arcia's statements were contradicted by another prosecution expert witness, Dr. Noel Martín Corea, and the absence of forensic evidence.)
"She [Dr. Arcia] also states that the victim defended herself by scratching the attacker. Eric Volz presents severe scratch marks on his back. He claims that he injured himself while carrying the coffin but such marks will in no way be caused by a coffin. The scratches are both parallel and vertical and begin in the right shoulder." - - Judge Blanco while demonstrating how she imagined the victim scratched Volz, apparently from behind.

Police photograph of the marks on Eric Volz's shoulder.

Curiously, and despite the assurances by Judge Blanco and Dr. Arcia, no traces of blood or tissue was found under the victim's nails to support the assertion that the victim had defended herself in this manner.
Further unsettling, if one chooses to trust the opinion that the victim scratched her attacker, are the reports that the only witness placing Volz at the scene of the crime, Nelson López Danglas, was found to have scratches to his body and penis, when he was arrested for the crime shortly after it occurred. Mr. Danglas is rumored to have explained his injuries as resulting from a bicycle accident and was offered immunity in exchange for implicating Volz.

While there are clearly reddish marks on Volz's shoulder, it should be noted that Volz was arrested and photographed shortly after the funeral pictured below.

Eric Volz carrying the coffin of Doris Ivania Jimenez shortly before
the photograph of the marks on his shoulder was taken.

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