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. Suzi

    Geez CNN, the typos!! I've been noticing more of them lately – what's up?

    January 11, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • 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. Dolts

      January 12, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    He pled guilty!
    OMG!
    I would have thought this misogynistic SOB would have kept his game going longer.

    Well, good.
    Another POS off the streets.

    January 11, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Andy

    The real crime is the number of spelling and grammatical errors in this article. Proofread, please!

    Oh, and this guy is not going to be around much longer. Hopefully, he tells us where Natalie is before he goes to hell.

    January 11, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • ted

      I hope so, but what if he, when he gets out old and grey still maintains he had nothing to do with that murder?
      Then what?

      January 11, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ali

    ok so his attorny is actually blaming the Natalie Halloway "baggage" for this jerk's state of mind causing him to murder another person? I've been blamed for things in my life too but it's never caused me to kill someone! Also, his apology is pathetic. notice how he says he apologizes for "what happened" but doesn't actually apologize for his own actions and for killing that poor girl...just for "what happened". which in my book means he's just sorry he got caught.

    January 11, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • DB5DBSDB9

      That sounds like the Twinkie Defense.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • DB5DBSDB9

      He might as well use the Twinkie Defense.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lejaune

    Clearly, this is a gamble by his lawyer to get him out in a few years. Hope the court doesn't buy that. He is a danger to the society anywhere he goes. He will do it again given the chance.

    January 11, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. joh

    The best treatment for post traumatic stress disorder which leads to killing a person, is 50 years in jail. Therapist recommended.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. DB5DBSDB9

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

    What the he ll is "qualified murder"? And "simple robbery"???? As oppose to what, complicated robbery?

    January 11, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • LJ

      That's because it's Peru and not the U.S. – qualified murder?

      January 11, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. Fred

    Yes as he was so sorry the first time he killed a woman, that he had to re-live it again on the annivesary date.

    This guy needs to be put away for life.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. JS

    This is the funniest thing I've ever read a lawyer actually saying in a murder case:

    [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 occurance 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 cicitzen in Aruba."

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

    "It was 5 years after the disappearance of this American citizen and all media pointed out my client without having any evidence that hew as 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.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Enitan

    Why is the MEDIA so OBSESSED with any case involving this PUNK ????????????

    Answer and motive so BLATANTLY RACIAL, A WHITE GIRL FROM the United States was link to him, but NO solid evidence for even a TRIAL. HE IS INNOCENT until proven guilty. The bible says teach your children the RIGHT WAY and they will hardly deviate from that teaching. Deeply sorry for Natalie's mother as a mother of a daughter myself that also went to the Carribean after high school, but i instill in my daughter what to do and not do.

    Lived long enough to know that, if Natalie White skin color is anything other than white, this now, we can call him a murderer will not be in the news in the United States.
    Anyone with half a brain, ever stop to think, that may be our DOUBLE standard of JUSTICE sometimes catches with us.

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    January 11, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Are you delusional? The monster just pled guilty.
      Why would he do that is he were innocent of this crime?
      Food for thought.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ted

      Yup, had Natalie been a black, hispanic or oriental woman, the world would NEVER have heard about van der Sloot, that is undeniable.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  11. boyamidumb

    He's trying to avoid the needle here.

    Guy is a serial killer. I am sure there are more that he has left in his wake.

    This is the kind we lock in a dark room alone and leave him with the ghosts he has created. They will eventually tear his mind apart. A just punishment.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    I love how he said that he will answer the Court's questions in Spanish the best he could.
    He had no problem tooling around Peru and communicating with the young woman he murdered.
    I agree with JIF: Ted Bundy.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. nikye

    The only thing that he is "truly sorry and regretful for" is the fact that he was caught. To me, he's a coward who didn't want to face up to what he done in a trial, so the easy way out was to plead guilty. No amount of time in prison is long enough. He's not sincere in his confesion. I think that he done this so he wouldn't be asked about the truth of what he really done to stephany.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Now, you know darn well he was coerced into that verdict. I mean, just look at him. You can tell he was beaten and starved to make him admit to something he didn't do. Torturing a person into admiting guilt is just not acceptable.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Should have used the sarcasm font.
      You're going to get bombarded.
      Good morning.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • DB5DBSDB9

      Let me guess. You work for Amnesty International?

      January 11, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • ted

      Well, read the reactions here, not one person here knows van der Sloot personally, yet in the court of public opinion he's guilty as hell.
      If you state that the man might be innocent you get ridiculed and threatened, justice must prevail, I hope he is indeed guilty, but if this confession is a product of essential torture, that should not be acceptable, especially by Americans.
      If this maniac (i admit I don't like him either) is not guilty, than the real killer is still out ther, not something many people seem to worry about, and THAT worries me a lot..

      January 11, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      He admitted guilt shortly after being caught. The only torture is from his on sick mind. He doesn't desrve to be on the earth, send him on to the next judge for eternal soul!!

      January 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      And yet they still thought you were serious, bc(iah).
      ted, he pled guilty.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BOMBO ©

    He should have killed someone in Mississippi, then gone to work at the Governors mansion after serving the first 15 years of his sentence.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Word.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
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