Van der Sloot Awaits Sentencing for Murder in Peru
In a strange twist of fate, the man accused of murdering American teen Natalee Holloway has pleaded guilty of murdering another young woman. In Lima, Peru on Wednesday, Joran Van der Sloot stood before a Peruvian court and admitted to killing Stephany Flores, 21, in a Lima hotel in May of 2010. Van der Sloot admitted to Peruvian police that he killed Flores in a fit of rage after she learned of his connection to the Holloway disappearance while browsing on his laptop. According to the Peruvian newspaper La Republica, Joran Van der Sloot broke the neck of the young woman, causing her death.
While standing before the court, Van der Sloot said “I truly am sorry for this act. I feel very bad". His lawyer argued that he suffered 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.” Witnesses in the courtroom said that Van der Sloot exhibited no signs of remorse, and briefly smirked while conferring with his Peruvian attorney.
It is thought that Van der Sloot is pleading guilty in hopes of obtaining a reduced sentence. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year prison sentence for the Flores murder. The murder charges carry a minimum 15-year prison sentence. The judges in this case are expected to sentence the 24-year old defendant on Friday.
For the family of Natalee Holloway, the sentencing of Joran Van der Sloot has answered none of the questions surrounding the disappearance of the young high school student from Alabama.
Holloway went missing while on a class trip to Aruba; she was last seen leaving a bar with three men, one of whom was Joran Van der Sloot. While he and his two friends were considered prime suspects in Holloway's disappearance and presumed murder, they have never been charged with any crime, due to a lack of evidence.
Despite exhaustive searches of the Caribbean island, no forensic evidence of Natalee Holloway has ever been found. In the book Loving Natalee , Holloway's mother Beth writes about Van der Sloot and the other two suspects, "we all know they lied. But what they don't know is that I'm willing to wait out all of their lies... I have the rest of my life to find out what happened to Natalee."