Van der Sloot pleads guilty, says he is 'really sorry' for Peru woman's murder
Joran van der Sloot addresses the court and says he considers himself guilty of murder.
January 11th, 2012
11:00 AM ET

Van der Sloot pleads guilty, says he is 'really sorry' for Peru woman's murder

Editor's note: Joran van der Sloot returned to a Peruvian courtroom on Wednesday, five days after requesting more time to "reflect" on what plea he will make in his murder trial in the death of Peruvian national Stephany Flores in 2010. Van der Sloot became well-known around the world after he was arrested twice, but never charged, in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba.

[Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET] The court is now in recess. Joran van der Sloot has pleaded guilty to the murder of Stephany Flores. The next step will be his sentencing, which will take place on Friday at 10:00 a.m.

Van der Sloot walked over to his attorney, smiled and shook his hand as court was adjourned.

[Updated at 10:59 a.m. ET] A prosecutor is now arguing about the respect of the victim and how there needs to be reparation for the victim as well. “[Stephany Flores] had her life taken from her” with so much ahead of her.

Van der Sloot is hanging his head as they talk about Flores' lost life potential.

[Updated at 10:49 a.m. ET] The court has suspended the hearing, where several other separate defendants are present, to focus solely on Joran van der Sloot.

Van der Sloot is shaking his head during the proceedings and continues to slowly rock from side to side in his chair.

The family of the victim in van der Sloot's case, Stephany Flores, is not present in court.

[Updated at 10:49 a.m. ET] Joran van der Sloot's lawyer said that his client is "deeply regretful" of the charges against him.

Jose Luis Jimenez said that van der Sloot submitted a true and sincere confession. He added that he hoped van der Sloot's cooperation would mean the court might consider a shorter sentence.

"My client has had an attitude of cooperation with the authorities from the very beginning and that must be properly valued by this court," Jimenez argued.

[Updated at 10:43 a.m. ET]  Joran van der Sloot's lawyer is asking the court to take into account all of what his client has "suffered" the day of the events in question and leading up to it.

"Joran van der Sloot on May 30, 2010 was 21-years-old and he was in fact persecuted, he was [pitted] against the entire world for the last five years because prior to the events of what happened now, because of an occurence of which he never committed and for which there is no existing evidence," lawyer Jose Luis Jimenez argued. "I refer to the disappearance of an American ciitzen in Aruba."

He added that van der Sloot was dealing with a lot of "baggage" and suffered from post traumatic stress disorder because of the attention paid to him in the case of missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway and other incidents in his life.

"It was five years after the disappearance of this American citizen and all media pointed out my client without having any evidence that he was in fact a monster," Jimenez said.

He added there were films and books that painted him as guilty in that case.

"This is all part of the baggage that my client carried with him that fateful morning and which definitely affected him in a substantial matter," he said. "I must then briefly address the concept of what traumatic stress disorder means."

An objection was made to the discussion of the Natalee Holloway case and the relevance to discussing it. Van der Sloot's lawyer said he felt that the incident led to his client's state of mind on the day that Stephany Flores was murdered.

[Updated at 10:39 a.m. ET] Joran van der Sloot pleaded guilty Wednesday to all charges against him in the killing of Peruvian Stephany Flores.

"I am really sorry for what happened," he said.

He pleaded guilty to "qualified murder" and simple robbery.

[Updated at 10:36 a.m. ET] Joran van der Sloot smiled as he has said he will try to answer the court's questions in Spanish as best he could.

[Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET] Court officials are sorting out a bit of business right now, making sure that a Dutch interpreter is present for van der Sloot.

[Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET] Joran van der Sloot was just brought back into the courtroom after a brief delay. He peers back at the cameras all focused on him and then turns his attention to the panel of judges. He's seated next to three other separate defendants who, like van der Sloot's lawyer, were delayed by traffic.

[Updated at 10:18 a.m. ET]  Joran van der Sloot 's lawyer Jose Luis Jimenez told CNN's senior Latin American affairs editor Rafael Romo a little more about what happened in the courthouse on Friday, when the Dutch national was first expected to make a plea.

During the hearing, a judge criticized van der Sloot for yawning, slouching and showing disrespect to the court.

Jimenez said that what people don't know is that van der Sloot had been transferred to the courthouse at six in the morning and kept in a hot holding cell for four hours, wearing a bulletproof vest and jacket the whole time.

Van der Sloot hadn't slept well because he was nervous about the process and was handcuffed the entire time, he said.  The lawyer asked the court to handle van der Sloot's arrival differently Wednesday, but there were no assurances of that, he said.

"I spoke with him on Friday and Monday and he’s very concerned about the whole process," Jimenez said. "Otherwise, he’s doing okay."

[Updated at 10:12 a.m. ET] While we wait for things to resume inside the courtroom, CNN's senior Latin American Affairs editor Rafael Romo gives more details on what we can expect to happen. He spoke to Joran van der Sloot's attorney, Jose Luis Jimenez, who said he plans to use a legal strategy called “anticipated conclusion of the process.”

This means that van der Sloot would admit guilt and accept the charges against him made by the prosecution.

Jimenez added he did not expect the three-judge panel to reduce the sentence to the minimum guidelines under Peruvian law, 7 years in prison, but he does expect a substantial reduction of the 30 years he would otherwise get if he was found guilty in a trial.

[Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET] CNN's senior Latin American affairs Editor Rafael Romo reports that the hearing has been paused for now.

Van der Sloot was led out of the courtroom, presumably while the court waits for his lawyer to arrive.

[Updated at 10:02 a.m. ET] Joran van der Sloot and the rest of the people inside have stood up as the panel of female judges has entered the courtroom.

[Updated at 9:59 a.m. ET] The Dutch national is expected to finally give his plea in the Lima courtroom today. He is charged with "qualified murder" and simple robbery in the killing of 21-year-old Stephany Flores.

If it is not guilty, then the trial will resume before the all-female judicial panel. If he pleads guilty, the sentencing phase would begin.

[Updated at 9:52 a.m. ET] Joran van der Sloot has entered the coutroom in Lima, Peru. We expect to shortly find out how he will plead to charges in his murder trial. The 24-year-old is closing his eyes, twiddling his thumbs, and rocking from side to side as he waits for court officials to fill the courtroom.

As he stretches his neck out and awaits the chance to speak a group of reporters snaps photos and readies their cameras from behind a glass wall.

[Posted at 9:40 a.m. ET] Joran van der Sloot and his lawyer are scheduled to address a Peruvian court at about 10:00 a.m. ET in his murder trial and state how he will plead in a 2010 murder case.

The 24-year-old Dutch national had indicated on Friday that he was willing to make a "confession" in the 2010 killing of Stephany Flores, but that he did "not agree with the aggravating factors" as defined in the murder charge levied against him.

Given this statement, the panel of three judges decided to give van der Sloot until today to make a final decision. There is no jury in the case.

This was the latest twist in a case that has made international headlines, in part because of the circumstances of the killing but also because van der Sloot was arrested twice, but never charged, in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway.

Police say van der Sloot killed Flores in his Lima hotel room in May 2010, then took money and bank cards from her wallet and fled to Chile, where he was arrested a few days later.

Hours before Friday's court proceedings, his attorney said that van der Sloot would plead guilty to all charges related to Flores' death. His apparent aim would have been to get a reduced sentence after making a "sincere confession."

But after the session began, he voiced doubt about the charge, leading to the delay.

On Wednesday, van der Sloot is expected to finally give his plea in the Lima courtroom. He is charged with "qualified murder" and simple robbery in the killing of 21-year-old Flores.

soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. stephen

    All I have to say is let it had been a black man that done those things, The case would have been over along time ago!!!!!

    January 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jay

      Stephen,

      I don't think that matters in the country of PERU, If it was in the United States I would agree with you. Regardless of race in another country where a crime is made your screwed. He deserve to be punished to the fullest.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • FU727

      Oh please knock it off with your white guilt. Yes you are a white man.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • commonsense

      Stephen, it doesn't matter what race or ethnicity someone is. They should not commit murder. If they decide to, then they need to pay for it.

      If you really are black you are doing a disservice to the other black people with such a ignorant statement. Don't do the crime if you don't want to do time.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      I am sick and tired of the BLACK CARD being played somehow but yet all the time in anything in the news. Simply said get over it. Secondly, the Shining Path need to deal with this VanderSLOP character. He is a pathetic individual who needs to be slapped down and shaken up. You look at this individual and without taking any psychology courses he has this grin on his face with absolutely no remorse. I would hope and anticipate that these 3 women stand up and give him the full sentence period.

      January 13, 2012 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
    • martin

      pulling the race card as always. It people like you that keep the race card coming, get over it already, doesnt matter. Do you feel better about yourself for making that retarded comment?

      January 18, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. manhandler

    The man is a psychotic and should be put away and never be released. Too bad that's never gonna happen in Peru.

    January 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jenny

    My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a mi'llionaire young man Ronald who is the CEO of a MNC ! They met via Seek'Rich'Singles._CoM_....it's where for men and women looking for comp'anionship for a fabu'lous lifestyle, maybe you want to try it out :) . …you don’t have to be rich there ,but you can meet one. It's worth a try.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Philip

    He did not do this alone.He had an enabler

    January 12, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • commonsense

      The biggest enabler is gone. His father. The mother got her head together and realized he would take down the entire family. He does have younger siblings. He has nearly destroyed their lives. Give his mom some credit, she made a tough call unlike people who run around shielding their crooked children.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. scotty501

    Woman can be such SUCKERS. Why would a co ed leave a bar with a high school student? Oooh, i know..he was "cute" or had an accent. Look how many women marry the "bad boy", "cool guy" or the guy w/ the ten inch____ and end up poor because the guy never grew up or kept running around. Sadly its their kids that suffer.

    January 12, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Patricia

    Now that he has plead guilty to the Peruvian girls killing, maybe he will find the words to tell Natalie Holloways parents what he did to her. I am not sure if he can be tried and given the death penalty for it but if life in prison is the sentence, it would be fitting to tell all and serve the time for both crimes. This priviledged young man has wasted his life...one that was fueled by a foolish father who is unfortunately unable to see his son's fate. Too bad..because his father is as much at fault for the crimes committed by the son...a poor example of a father if anyone was. May Joran live a very long miserable life....and may this be a lesson to all young women who fall for the cute guy with the accent as Scotty501 has stated.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • FRAN

      He will never admit to Holloways death he is a coward he only pleaded guilty to this murder because it will lessen his sentence they had too much evidence against him for this murder. This guy is a real bad seen it's in his DNA he is a born killer and he will kill again as soon as he is released from prison it is who he is. I have no doubt in the world he has killed more than these 2 women it's his addiction and he can't stop. He should be put to death so we can save his next victim. Put im down like the rabid animal he is.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. justworng1

    This Is An Atrocity, Ven der Sloot Should Be Put To Death!
    It Is Also Abundantly Clear The Peruvian Nation/Government Has No Respect For The Life Of A Woman.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • WilliamUK

      You must be an American. Your bloodthirsty country executes more people than anyone in the world, and stands alongside such rogue nations as INigeria, Uganda, Botswana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq.

      January 13, 2012 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
    • OhPlease

      WilliamUK: Actually, in 2010 the U.S. is only fifth on the list of number of executions. There are just as many Americans that don't believe in capital punishment as there are those who do. Calling America a "bloodthirsty country" is childish and ridiculous. Do you agree with everything your government does? Neither do we. And I'll bet if it had been your mother/daughter/sister who had been brutally beaten and strangled to death, you just might find yourself wanting Van der Sloot dead. At the very least he should be locked up for life with no parole. He is obviously a sociopathic killer and needs to be removed from society, one way or another.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • OhPlease

      And another thing: NONE of the other countries that you list as "rogue nations" are on the 2010 list of top ten countries in number of executions.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. pmn

    While he is pleading guilty to one murder, he should be confessing murder of Natalee Holloway.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. gotacomment

    commonsense, I believe she's his stepmother. Can't blame her for wanting to distance herself from this creep. She can be glad she;s not his biological mom. I can't imagine living with myself knowing I gave birth to a monster.

    January 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Olivia

    Please tell me he said more than that one sentence: "I am really sorry for what happened".
    If that is all he can come up with then I would reduce his sentence one week for each word from the 30 year max.

    January 13, 2012 at 5:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
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