Saturday, April 07, 2007

Nifonged in Nicaragua: Marks on Eric Volz's Shoulder

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.

Additional Information:


Anonymous said...

Who ever thought that Nicaragua would be as bad a North Carolina.

When Nifong is disbarred, he has a new place to practice.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for this kid and the other Americans in South and Latin American jails. Gotta stay out of these banana republics. Their own people have no rights in these countries, let alone American citizens.

Anonymous said...

please add to your blog.


Anonymous said...

I'm not a medical professional, but it seems unlikely to me that carrying a coffin while wearing a shirt and jacket would lead to the sort of tearing of skin (without any bruising) depicted in that picture.

Frankly, it looks to me like somebody grabbed him and scratched him through his clothing.

Anonymous said...


What tearing of the skin? There ain't nothing but reddish marks in that picture.

Anonymous said...

Look at the rightmost mark at the border between the pink area of his skin and the brown area. The "edge" is extremely sharp.

It seems to me that's because the very outermost layer of skin was torn from the area that's now brown, but not from the area that's now pink.

What else would explain such an extremely abrupt change in color?

Susania said...

I think we need to leave that sort of conjecture about what might cause that sort of scratch to the medical experts! People are debating this over on a YouTube video, and no-one is an expert, so it's just devolved into name-calling. I think that the fact that he carried her coffin, and on the same side as the marks, is rather significant. And, no DNA evidence whatsoever linking him to the site!

Nathania Johnson said...

It really doesn't matter if anyone had scratches or not. There wasn't any skin under the fingernails of the victim.

But if those scratches did occur at the crime scene, there was no evidence proving that it did. There is simply no evidence placing Eric Volz at the scene of the crime.

Anonymous said...

"I think we need to leave that sort of conjecture about what might cause that sort of scratch to the medical experts!"

I don't see why. I am a smart person, I can think critically, and I've been scratched, scraped and bruised at least 100 times in my life just like most other people. The injuries depicted in the photo do not seem consistent with carrying a coffin.

"But if those scratches did occur at the crime scene, there was no evidence proving that it did. There is simply no evidence placing Eric Volz at the scene of the crime."

But still, we know that a crime was committed and Volz certainly had a motive to do so. Poorly explained scratches are significant, and it seems to me that if he was scratched through his clothing, the victim might not end up with skin under her fingernails.

What it comes down to for me is his alibi. If his supporters would care to post on the internet (1) the audio of his 54 minute phone conversation; (2) his cell phone bill in his name showing a 54 minute call on the day in question; and (3) the tower records showing that a 54 minute cell phone call from that phone number was made in or around Managua, then I'll concede he's probably been Nifonged.

Anonymous said...

we had six pallbearers at my grandmas funeral and the two of us on the corners ended up with marks like that. those things are heavier than you think, picture raising and lowering the skinny side of of a 300 pound 2x4. looks like they only had four pallbearers so they were probably worse off.

i believe the alibi, 10 sworn statements by a variety of people both Nicaraguan and American. and they did submit the phone bill and tower records as evidence. the tower records originate in Managua all day then after he got the call about the murder the records follow him to San Juan Del Sur where he picked up Doris' friend and father. but to me the eyewitnesses are more important than phone records.

Anonymous said...

RE: the "tearing of the skin", have you ever had a friction burn? carrying that weight, on just the sharp edge as you walk will rub it back and forth along the skin, with the shirt and jacket in between. Quite honestly I (along with plenty of other women I'm sure) have recieved a similar friction burn that later scabbed up after a particularly interesting encounter with my man, not even realising at the time that it was happining! This is simply an issue of wrongfull conviction and a country doing a cya.