The attorney general of the Dominican Republic said Tuesday that he had told wounded former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in the hospital Monday that the investigation into his shooting had “advanced considerably.”
But the clock is ticking. Soon the investigators will have to bring charges or release the suspect they have in custody.
“The constitution provides for the right of any person to challenge the lawfulness of his or her detention in court, and the government generally observed this requirement,” the State Department said in a 2018 human rights report.
The mother of 23-year-old defendant Eddy Vladimir Féliz García was waiting Tuesday in the sweltering waiting room of the makeshift courthouse in Santo Domingo to see if formal charges would be brought. “He is innocent,” Justina Garcia said. “Please investigate this fully. Don’t accuse this innocent man.”
But a spokesman for the Public Ministry of Santo Domingo Este, which is prosecuting the case, said late Tuesday afternoon Garcia would be charged with being an accomplice to attempted murder.
In the Dominican Republic, a person arrested has protections familiar to a United States citizen, including a defense and a fair and public trial, the State Department said.
“The law provides for a presumption of innocence, the right to confront or question witnesses, and the right against self-incrimination. Defendants have the right to be present at their trial and consult with an attorney in a timely manner, and the indigent have a right to a public defender,” the State Department said, though it noted “staffing levels were inadequate to meet demand.”
“Defendants have the right to present their own witnesses and evidence. . . . The constitution also provides for the right to appeal and prohibits higher courts from increasing the sentences of lower courts,” the State Department said.
The report criticized the legal system’s failings in practice, however, saying they included torture by police, roundups, arbitrary detention, lengthy pretrial detentions, and harsh and life-threatening prison conditions.
Eddy Garcia was in police custody Tuesday. He was initially hospitalized after being pummeled by a crowd as he tried to escape the Sunday night shooting scene, but suffered only superficial injuries and was released from medical care Monday morning, said Public Ministry of Santo Domingo Este spokesman Erick Montilla.
Ortiz, after surgery in the Dominican Republic, was whisked by an air ambulance to Boston’s world-renowned Massachusetts General Hospital on Monday night. He took his first steps on Tuesday and was expected to stay at the hospital for the next several days.
Jeremiah Manion and Aimee Ortiz of the Globe staff contributed to this report.