|"What...? What happened here!?"|
|"Manuel fell from the trailer stairs...!"|
Manuel was an actor working for Global Studios until his death in 2011.
He was working on a fight scene for Jack Hammer's next big movie at Studio Two of Global Studios on the day of his death, with Dee Vasquez as the producer. During a fight scene with Hammer, he was accidentally pushed onto some sharp fence tips, which killed him. The people around him on the set looked on in shock, with Vasquez herself screaming "Nooooooooooooo!" and begging him not to die.
A photographer managed to take a photo of Hammer and Vasquez looking on in shock at Manuel's impaled corpse. Due to Vasquez's connections with the local mob, said photographer was silenced and the incident was covered up, although the photo was not destroyed. Vasquez used this photo to blackmail Hammer into doing what she wanted, including playing villain roles on children's television shows for next to no pay. Wendy Oldbag, the Global Studios security lady, had knowledge of the incident and somehow managed to acquire the photo.
- Main article: Turnabout Samurai
The resentment that Hammer felt towards Vasquez built for five years until, one day, he decided to kill her. Unfortunately, as he attempted to murder the woman who had ruined his life, he was pushed onto the same fence spikes that had killed Manuel five years before, killing Hammer.
Hammer's co-star on the show he was working on at the time, Will Powers, was accused of the murder and so hired defense attorney Phoenix Wright to defend him. Wright found out about Manuel's death from Oldbag and was able to use the photo she had stolen, along with various other clues he had accumulated, to deduce that Vasquez was the true culprit.
- Vasquez's reaction to Manuel's death, as shown in the flashback, could indicate that she knew the actor personally. Alternatively, it may just show a producer panicking at having an actor die in front of her and under her care.
- Vasquez at one point during Wright's investigation suggests that Manuel's death was not an accident, but that Hammer had done it on purpose. It's never confirmed whether what she says is true, although she does ask why else Hammer would let her mercilessly run his life otherwise.