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. bobcat (in a hat)©

    What the heck is wrong with all of you ? The man said he was " really sorry " for the murder. What else do you want ?
    Can't you see how remorseful the man is ? Geez, let him go already. Don't you think he's had enough time to think about what he did ?

    January 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • anna

      Yes, more than enought time to think how he can kill more women if he gets out.
      Whats wrong with you, you sound like a real idiot.

      January 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • nisiek

      are you crazy like him too??? He BRUTALLY murdered Stephany Flores, if every murder said "golly gee I am so sorry I brutally murdered your daughter/wife/girfiriend/mother or whatever", then everything is okey dokey???? What is wrong with you??? This guy BRUTALLY BEAT THIS GIRL then WRAPPER HER BODY IN A RUG, he is beyond sick and worse, probably did the same to Natalee Holloway...sorry this was divine justice,Natalee and probably other murdered women along the way are seeking justice on earth for his low down dirty heartless monster. WAKE UP BOBCAT, there are no golly gee moments when you brutally murder someone, the gig is up, he needs to go down.

      January 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • bunny

      ummm... I think he's kidding, folks. I really hope so anyway!

      January 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wayne Deja

      bobcat....If you feel he is sorry and should be released,how about letting him hook up with your daughter....or wife ?

      January 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      He killed an INNOCENT WOMAN WITH A FAMILY. I don't care how remorseful you are, he will get shanked in prison and deserve every second of it. If this was your daughter, would you forgive him because he said he was "really sorry"??

      January 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Well then, how about if he says he's "really, really sorry" and promises not to get caught doing something like this again. Then will you let him go ?

    January 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wendysue

      I'm sure you must be joking, because there is absolutely no way you can be serious. If you are serious, you are a very scary person and probably a murderer yourself.

      January 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • OhPlease

      Bobcat, you little instigator, you...

      January 15, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. LouBuc

    With all the suffering and remorse he's experienced, and now with this unfortunate additional stress he's undergone in Peru, seems like he's really ready to tackle multiple murders next ...

    January 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Charlie

    Frankly I think this young man should be locked up and the key thrown away. He is obviously a sociopath.

    January 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. lynn

    LOOK AT HIS HEAD!!!!!!!!! Anyone with a head shaped like that must be 'off in the head'. Lock him up – he'll just keep doing it...

    January 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Hair Bear

    I'm glad he admitted this one if he had admitted the last one, he could have been pardon by now! They do that in the united states!

    January 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. BobNAlabama

    This piece of trash is a clever one, but the court should not be fooled by his feigned regret.

    January 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • banasy©

      Bc(iah)©
      Did you have fun batting around the mice?
      Ah, you crack me up, my friend......

      January 12, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ anna and Wendysue

    Ah, my faith in my fellow humans is intact. Thank you for accepting my sarcasm as a factual statement.
    I knew if I waited long enough, someone would bite on that.
    Now all I have to do is reel you in.

    January 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ nisiek

    I apologize to you. I inadvertently left you out of my previous statement. Thanks to all three of you for being so gullible.

    January 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ bunny
    Thank you for seeing it for what it was.

    January 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. s kel

    phuck him

    January 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Wayne Deja

    Since he gave a "sincere confession",I sincerely hope he gets killed in prison.

    January 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Bill

    This guy clearly has a psychiatric problem...personality disorder at least. Glad for the women of the world he'll get at least a little time locked up.

    January 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ Wayne Deja

    You ran right down through these posts and didn't see anything about sarcasm ?
    Damn, talk about being late to the party.

    January 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Anna

    He said he was sorry for what he did and regretted his actions. At no point did he say for what....he just repeated what he was told to say basically...this way he gets much less time and can be out w/n 10 years and murder more young girls.....this is just infuriating.

    January 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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