Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway, pleaded guilty today to the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores in Peru.
“Yes, I want to plead guilty. I wanted from the first moment to confess sincerely,” he said today in court, according to The Associated Press. “I truly am sorry for this act. I feel very bad.”
Van der Sloot faced up to 30 years in jail if convicted at a trial. It’s not clear how much time he will get as a result of his confession. His hearing was suspended until Friday when he will be sentenced.
Flores, the 21-year-old daughter of a wealthy and influential Peruvian businessman, was found strangled in van der Sloot’s hotel room on May 31, 2010. The two had reportedly met at a Lima casino.
The Dutch national who lived in Aruba fled Peru but was arrested three days later in Chile, which sent him back to Peru.
He reportedly claimed in a confession shortly after the slaying that he’d killed Flores because she found information linking him to Holloway on his computer.
Van der Sloot, 24, appeared in a Lima court last Friday and agreed to make a confession but then asked the court for more time to consider his options.
Van der Sloot had twice previously been arrested for the disappearance of Holloway, a 19-year-old from Alabama who vanished during a celebratory trip to Aruba with her senior class in May 2005.
Van der Sloot maintained that he’d left her on a beach, drunk. That’s the last anyone has seen of her.
Van der Sloot’s lawyer said today that he had killed Flores as a result of the “extreme psychological trauma” he’d experienced in the Holloway investigation.