Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nifonged in Nicaragua: Volz Hearing Expected By End of April

The Nashville Tennessean is reporting that a hearing on Eric Volz appeal of his false conviction for the rape and murder of former girlfriend Doris Ivania Jimenez is expected to take place by the end of the month. According to the article by Brad Schrade, papers initiating the appeal process were filed yesterday with the Nicaraguan Supreme Court. Within six days of filing, a hearing must be held with a decision mandated within five days of the hearing.


Former Nashville resident and Hillwood High graduate Eric Volz, who is imprisoned in Nicaragua on a murder conviction, has filed an appeal with the country's supreme court and a decision could come by the end of the month, a family spokeswoman said.

Volz is convicted of murdering an ex-girlfriend last November, but his family and friends say the American has been railroaded in a gross miscarriage of justice. The murder of Doris Ivania Jimenez occurred in San Juan, but Volz was more than two hours away in the city of Managua at the time of the murder, said Melissa Campbell, a spokeswoman for Volz's family, who still live in Nashville.

The case has drawn national attention with reports in the Wall Street Journal, People magazine and on The Today Show. Campbell said Nicaragua's appeal process requires a case be heard within six days after the papers are filed, and a decision on the appeal must come within five days after the hearing. Papers were filed today, she said, which means Volz and his family are hopeful the high court will render a decision by the end of the month.

"He's hanging in there,” Campbell said of Volz, who is 27. "He's mentally strong and hopeful. He's incredibly encouraged by letters coming in from the Web site."

Volz was sentenced to 30 years in the Central American country's prison system following his February conviction. He had around 10 people offer sworn statements providing an alibi at the time of the murder, but the judge considered the lone testimony of an eyewitness who claimed they saw Volz near the girlfriend's clothing shop at the time of the murder.

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