Van Der Sloot Plea
January 12, 2012 by staff
Van Der Sloot Plea, After Joran van der Sloot pleaded guilty Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino, his lawyer argued that the killing was tragically triggered by fallout from the very event that originally brought his client notoriety.
The “persecution” suffered by Van der Sloot after the unsolved disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway five years earlier scarred him psychologically with a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, defense attorney Jose Jimenez told the three female judges who are to sentence his client Friday.
The young Dutchman has been the prime suspect in the Holloway case since she disappeared on Aruba five years to the day before the killing of the 21-year-old Peruvian woman, business student Stephany Flores.
With the evidence against him in the Peru killing strong, Van der Sloot entered a guilty plea Wednesday at his lawyer’s urging, hoping for a reduced sentence.
“I truly am sorry for this act. I feel very bad,” the 24-year-old defendant said, showing no emotion in a brief admission of guilt in fractured Spanish. He did not use the Dutch translator provided for the proceeding.
Prosecutors are asking for a 30-year prison sentence under charges that carry a 15-year minimum.
Van der Sloot, physically imposing at well over 6 feet tall, bowed his head minutes later as his lawyer argued that he killed Flores in a “severe emotional reaction to extreme psychological trauma” related to the Holloway disappearance, “something he says he never did and for which no evidence at all exists.”
Van der Sloot did not exhibit signs of remorse, and he briefly smiled while conferring with Jimenez before leaving the courtroom.
The judges have 48 hours to render a sentence and the presiding magistrate, Victoria Montoya, said the panel would reconvene Friday to do so.
Van der Sloot’s trial opened last week but was adjourned until Wednesday after he asked for more time to decide how to plead. He said then that he did not accept the aggravated murder charges the prosecution sought.
Van der Sloot, who wore faded jeans and an untucked light-blue button-down shirt, had confessed to the May 30, 2010, killing long ago.
He told police shortly after the murder that he killed Flores in a fit of rage after she discovered his connection to the disappearance of Holloway on his laptop while they played poker online.
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