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. jellylee2020

    With Peru prison so comfortable even the innocent wants to confess to something. It'll be like a 10 to 20 year paid vacation with free meal, free housing and even free entertainment.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • PETER

      You have no idea what you're talking about. The prison he's in is one of the worst in the entire world.
      Do some research before you run your mouth.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristal

      i hope peter is right maybe some lucky inmate will murder him 4 every1 that wants 2 c justice 4 miss halloway

      January 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • jellylee2020

      Peter, you must have missed the news articles chronicling how he was enjoying the prison eating anything he wants and making lots of money by playing cards with other inmates and walking freely about int he Peru prison. According to this report, he was enjoying and addicted to video games in the prison and is using cocaine regularly:

      "I enter the area where van der Sloot currently lives. It consists of two sections. There’s a small kitchen counter on the right where inmates can store and prepare food. There’s a door that leads to a small bathroom." Sounds more like a vacation suite than any prison that I know. How many prison in the US give inmates access to their own kitchen and bathrooms? So DO YOUR RESEARCH YOU D**BA**

      January 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaime

      jellylee2020... Joran is currently being held in a special prison. He is being kept there because if he is moved with the other inmates he will be killed. For $100 a prisoner will do just about anything. The general consensus is once he is sentenced he will be moved to a prison like Lurigancho Prison, which is no slice of heaven.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |

    Enjoy Peru Prison you POS.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hot Carl

      Deh derk er derbs?

      January 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Frog Prince

    Joran van der Sloot smiled as he said "I am really sorry for what happened and that I got caught" then snickered..........

    January 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kattafish

      Blurp-blurp. Bass-to-trout much?

      January 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hot Carl

      It's "Katattafish".

      January 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chairman and CEO of DP

      We're sorry.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kristal

    a ladies man only when their intoxicated
    hes drop dead ugly and a double murderer

    January 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mofo

    Burn him alive.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kristal

    feed him 2 the pigs they like eating murderers alive

    January 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Antoinette

    Enough already! The guy loves all the attention we are giving to him. Let's STOP!

    January 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Beth

    I'm dumbfounded by his lawyer's claims that the hype around Natalie's killing made him kill this other woman but that he didn't kill Natalie. Wow! Hopefully he will not ever be out of jail the rest of his life and after he is finished in Peru he will be in another jail.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mouse

    Come on you guys....look at his picture, you can tell he's sincerely sorry.......NOT. People like him get thier kicks off of murder and he WILL do it again Peru so make sure he gets the most you can give him!

    January 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rahual Windsom

    I am increasing amazed at how the criminal is in charge of the courts. Bargaining? Let him plead guilty, then shoot him. Possibly 7 years for murder? Really? Maybe if he admitted both murders we could put send him to Vegas with 100k.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. danny

    His main mistake this time was that he killed a girl whose family has as much if not more than his family did, the one with the most money usually wins in court.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. whoknew

    Let's hope someone "gets" to him in jail before his 20 years are up (even if he gets 30, he'll be out in 20). He'd still be dangerous in his mid 40's or 50's.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ana

    He's obviously mentally disturbed. Look what kind of family he came from. A rich, important father who helped him dispose of Natalie's body. A mother who looks the other way and probably a victim of spousal abuse. Now without the toxic enabler support of his dad, he's floundering, helpless, and probably drugged up.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Well, that's quite the diagnosis, Dr. Ana...I'll agree that he's floundering, helpless, and probably *fupped duck*....drugged up, no.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    He is, and most likely always has been, as helpless as a pirana.
    No disrespect intended to the fish.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. judith griffin

    glad he confessed that he killed victum. he was sorry.he dont mean it because he smiled. why smiled. give him death penatly friday am. my god peruvian court has very poor educations. three ladies judges dont wear black coats . no jury there. very poor . they need more education more .very very poor.three judges asked each others what to do. cant one of them know better what to do. sure hope they will sentence him for 50 years in jail. we need to know what happened to natalee holloway. i am sorry about stephany.and her family.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
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