On this day in 2007, Eric Volz was due to go on trial in a Nicaraguan court for the rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend, Doris Jimenez. Volz, an American, had emigrated to Nicaragua a year previously and was busy laying the foundations of a successful business when he found himself the chief suspect of a case that would engross and enrage the people of his adopted country.
Evidence against Volz was hard to find and weak at best – his alibi, supported by numerous colleagues and associates placed him over two hours’ drive away from the scene of the crime when it occurred, whilst other suspects were unable to account for themselves and bore scars typical of the kind of attack believed to have taken place.
Many, particularly in Volz’s homeland, felt that he was being framed in order to make an example to other foreigners settling in the country. If this was the intention of the prosecutors, they certainly achieved their goal.
Volz came under unprecedented attacks from a furious public in the run up to the trial, with mass protests against him boiling over into crowd violence on more than one occasion. It was in this threatening and volatile atmosphere that the decision was taken to delay his trial.
Despite this respite, Volz would eventually stand trial and have to endure far worse treatment in the years to come...