The Christmas miracle the Volz family thought came true on Monday might be vanishing before their eyes.
A spokeswoman for the family of Nashville native Eric Volz said she has been able to confirm that the Nicaraguan prosecutor who had Volz tried for the murder of his ex-girlfriend is now taking an appellate court decision that on Monday threw out Volz’s murder conviction to the country’s Supreme Court.
Isolda Ibarra, who successfully prosecuted the 28-year-old American entrepreneur living in Nicaragua for the murder of Doris Ivanez Jiminez, a girl Volz had dated, on Monday saw Volz’s conviction and subsequent 30-year prison sentence overturned by an appeals court.
The 2-1 appeals court decision called for Volz’s immediate release from prison, where he has been detained since February when Judge Ivette Toruno Blanco found him guilty of the murder.
But Volz has yet to be released, and his attorney is calling his continued detention illegal and he is accusing Blanco of purposefully ignoring the appeals court order to see that Volz be set free.
Now, the delay seems to have been effective.
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.
“[Ibarra’s] asking that Eric be held in custody, illegally, until the Supreme Court rules,” Campbell wrote in an e-mail sent to reporters this morning. “The order of the Appellate Court to free him should not be over ridden by her filing the Supreme Court appeal, but that is being ignored.”
“Typically, Supreme Court cases take years to process cases,” Campbell continued. “If Eric is held he will certainly be moved back to the penitentiary and may not be afforded the minimal protection he had previously.”
“He will be in the gravest of danger,” she wrote.
Campbell also confirmed reports that Volz, who had been transferred to the prison hospital, is suffering from kidney stones and is still recovering from “intestinal track issues and severe asthma.”
On Tuesday, a day following the appeals court decision, the U.S. State Department publicly called for Volz’s immediate release from prison, the return of his Passport and access to U.S. Embassy officials.
It could not be immediately learned if the State Department was taking additional measures in light of the prosecution’s appeal to the Nicaraguan Supreme Court.
But Volz’s family has continued to cry foul over his continued detention.
“There is now no question that Eric is a political prisoner being held illegally against court orders,” Campbell said.