Durham North Carolina: Your Typical Banana Republic

This story over at Lie Stoppers is pretty scary and it shows that Durham North Carolina really isn’t all that different from your typical third world country like Nicaragua.

On November 23, 2006, Nashville native Eric Volz was arrested in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua for the rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend, Doris Ivanez Jimenez. Despite conclusive evidence that he was in Managua over two hours away at the time of the crime, the twenty-seven year old publisher of El Puente Magazine, was convicted last month, following a three day trial. Mr. Volz was sentenced to serve thirty years in “El Modelo” prison, the maximum sentence allowed, after Judge Ivette Toruño Blanco threw out all the defense evidence, which included testimony of multiple alibi witnesses, cell phone and computer records, signed credit voucher, and more. Also disallowed were the findings of the prosecution’s forensic expert, who testified that none of the physical evidence (over 100 hairs found on and around the victim, as well as blood, saliva, semen, and footprints) matched Volz. The parallels between the Volz case and the Hoax, ranging from evidence of actual innocence to improper extra-judicial statements by the prosecutor and the community hysteria fueled by inflammatory media coverage, are all eerily similar.

Sounds like they went to the Mike Nifong school of criminal prosecution.

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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Sounds like they went to the Mike Nifong school of criminal prosecution.

    If so, then the students have surpassed the teacher as they got a conviction. Something that Nifong is not likely to do.

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    True, but in this case, it isn’t a good thing.

  3. Eneils Bailey says:

    In years to come, Nifong will be better known as a verb, not a noun.