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Nicaraguan court overturns American's conviction

  • Story Highlights
  • Eric Volz's conviction for killing his ex-girlfriend overturned Monday
  • A judge fails to show up Monday for an afternoon meeting to release Volz
  • Witnesses testify Volz was in his office at the time of the killing
  • Volz, 28, of Nashville, Tennessee, was the publisher of EP Magazine
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua (CNN) -- A Nicaraguan appeals court Monday ruled that an American convicted of killing his former girlfriend should be set free.

Eric Volz, of Nashville, Tennessee, was convicted in 2006 of raping and killing Doris Ivanez Jimenez and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The court Monday reversed that decision, but Volz has not been freed because a judge failed to show up for an afternoon meeting to arrange his release, according to attorney Fabbrith Gomez.

Gomez, who claims Volz is being held illegally, said he intended to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus, a process that forces a court to give proof justifying why a prisoner is being held.

Volz was transferred Monday from a Managua jail to a police hospital, according to Gomez and the prison warden, but it wasn't clear why.

Ten witnesses testified or gave affidavits swearing that Volz was in his office in Managua at the time Jimenez was killed two hours away in San Juan del Sur. But one man testified that he had seen Volz in San Juan del Sur just after the time police believe Jimenez was killed.

That man, Nelson Danglas, was originally arrested for the slaying but received full immunity in exchange for his testimony against Volz. No physical evidence from the crime scene linked Volz to the slaying.

In addition to Volz, the same court also convicted Julio Chamorro of Jimenez's murder, although investigators did not connect him with Volz.

When the verdict was reached, a mob had gathered outside the courtroom chanting for Volz's conviction.

Volz, 28, was the publisher of EP (El Puente) Magazine, which he founded. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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