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. Nanci Eisner

    How many people are overworked, overstressed, in financial trouble and did not get enough sleep, etc. in this world, but how many commit murder? I heard his friend say he killed her because he found her going through his computer info.
    Who are these sub-human beings anyway? Van Der Sloot should never, ever, see the light of day again. As to his friend, he hasn't been convicted of committing a crime yet, but he's another one whose thinking is criminally flawed.

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

      I agree with you...i too saw that interview and wondered why this friend was even given any airtime. He spoke some utter rubbish in support of his psycho friend. Perhaps they are birds of a feather and a potential murderer himself. He may even be supported by his psycho friend's mother.
      He is trying very hard to appear to be human! But anyone with just one functioning brain cell could see through his act. He is nothing but an evil monster and should never see the light of day again.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO ©

    Does anyone else miss the old Latin America, where they would have ripped out his fingernails and drowned him in the toilet undtil he confessed, then shot him? The new Latin America seems a lot like Europe.

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

      I agree, "He considers himself guilty of murder", My a$$, I consider him guilty of 2 murders. String him up by his toes.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. amyinoaktown

    While he'll probably never admit in open court he killed Natalie Holloway, it must bring some relief and/or closure to her family that he is now going spend much of his life in jail. A long time coming, but at least some justice has prevailed.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Sylvia

      Of course the world knows he killed Natalee Holloway, There was incriminating evidence, but his father covered it all up. I wonder whether his mother will ever realize what she and her late husband let into the free world to kill anyone at will.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. rad666

    He is just playing another card. When it is convenient, he will change his plea or some other legal maneuver.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. jim

    how about turning him into cat or dog food

    January 11, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. fearlessdude

    Fry the batard

    January 11, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Phillco

    He was never cooperative from the beginning nor is he very sorry. I hope the judges don't fall for his lies. When he gets out he will come to the US and get the max for the charges over here.....if he survives that long.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. elmo riffcan

    I have always looked at both sided of a problem and remained neutral of opinons,but here I hope they give you the death sentence for your crime(s). There is a lot that you probably done and only one you will confess to,Joran its time to confess all the evil you have committed,to put to rest the anguish you have placed on so many families.Stand up and accept your punishment like a man and stop trying to wheel and deal your way out of trouble.You are caught,guilty,and about to be put away for life.May your life be full of pain that will never end.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Sylvia

      Very unfortunately, there is no death penalty in Peru. He deserves more than one life sentence, and i hope it will be harsh, and in a tiny bare,stinking jail cell.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Fred

    So basically his defense is: "The media made me do it."

    January 11, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. TennisNutt

    The way this old man understands Van Der Sloot's "sincere confession" of all charges broght against him...he will be sentenced to 20 years > 30 years (maximum is 30 years). But, on the bright side of this, the day he is released he could be escorted to the nearest airport and, under guard, brought back the the U.S. for the charges of extortion.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Whybs

    Van der Sloot needs to be put to sleep. He has no remorses. The defendant lawyers are fooling themselves into believing that they are doing good things for humanity. They are not.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      I don't think they're thinking about anything except getting paid.

      January 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sunflower

    He creeps me out... Plain and simple... He's just evil... Him trying to get money from the Holloway family for disclosure of her burial place is just disgusting... Everyone knows he killed her too. Why doesn't he just confess to that too and get it over with.... Give the Holloways some peace and closure...

    January 11, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kevin

    I agree with people that would love to see this devil executed, but I would take a step further. His friend making excuses, hes got go. But this type of devil inherted this, so his whole family needs to take a dirt nap.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. Whybs

    Kill the MF!

    January 11, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Awesome Sauce

    he will not last 5 years @ Castro Castro prison.. that place is hell on earth

    January 11, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • JadeOwl

      Unfortunately they keep him in solitary confinement.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
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