Monday, December 17, 2007

Eric Volz Is Free

[UPDATE 3, 12/21/07]:

Finally Free!

Nashville media is reporting Eric Volz was released this afternoon and is on his way home:
Reports out of Managua, Nicaragua, indicate that Nashvillian Eric Volz was released from a prison hospital today and was, along with his mother, on a plane headed to the United States.

A family spokesperson confirmed that Volz’ was released following the overturning of his murder conviction earlier this week, but would not have any further comment until the family was confident that the 28-year-old Volz was safely out of Nicaragua.

A Christmas miracle.



STILL not free!

Volz family spokeswoman Melissa Campbell this morning said the director of the penitentiary where Volz was being held was dispatched to retrieve Volz from a hospital and return him to the prison ward.

That move forced Volz’s mother, Maggie Anthony, to cut short her visit with her son.

Anthony flew from Nashville to Granada, Nicaragua on Wednesday morning. She went straight to the Supreme Court, but told reporters following her that the Court refused to see her.

It was unclear what action, if any, the Supreme Court would take regarding the prosecutor’s challenge to Monday’s appeals court decision.

But if Ibarra’s appeal to the Supreme Court is filed properly and accepted by the court, it could be years until the case is even considered, Campbell said.

What will it take to get this guy home for Christmas? A miracle, that’s what.

Not yet free:

The U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua today publicly called for the release of Nashville native Eric Volz, who on Monday was ordered released from Nicaraguan prison following the overturning of his murder conviction.

Volz’s release has been held up, though, because the same judge who convicted him and who has been ordered to sign his release papers has apparently refused to do so, Volz’s Nicaraguan attorney told a spokesman for the family.

The latest update from officials on the ground in Nicaragua came this morning, when reports came in that Volz had been transferred to the prison hospital.

U.S. Embassy officials appear to have been denied access to Volz.

Again, this isn’t a case I know much about but I’ve seen this entry getting a lot of hits, so that’s the latest.


I just heard this bit of news on the TV:

Nicaraguan Court Overturns Nashville Man's Conviction

Man Previously Sentenced In Death Of Girlfriend

MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- A Nicaraguan appeals court on Monday overturned the conviction of a U.S. man sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing his Nicaraguan girlfriend.

Eric Volz, of Nashville, Tenn., was immediately freed from a prison in the town of Granada, 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of the capital, Managua. His whereabouts were not immediately known.

Nicaraguan Attorney General Julio Centeno Gomez told Channel 12 television he would appeal the decision to the nation's highest court.

I know very little about the Volz case except what I’ve read on blogs; Volz has said he was in Managua, two hours away, when the murder occurred, and a dozen people have corroborated his alibi. There is a lot of information on the web about the case; Friends Of Eric is a good place to start.

All I can say right now is: this is a welcome Christmas present to his friends and family.

Of course the Attorney General is going to appeal; he has to. He has his career at stake. The Eric Volz case became a cause celebre both in the U.S. and Nicaragua. Sadly, it is inevitable that high profile court cases, no matter where they are tried, have as much to do with the egos of prosecutors as with any facts in evidence.