Van der Sloot: I Murdered Peru Woman - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Van der Sloot: I Murdered Peru Woman

MSNBC.COM - Joran van der Sloot pleaded guilty to murder Wednesday in the killing of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman.

The plea came nearly seven years after he became the prime suspect in the unsolved disappearance of an American teenager on holiday in Aruba.

Van der Sloot, who was arrested but not charged in the 2005 disappearance of 19-year-old Natalee Holloway on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, admitted killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room on May 30, 2010, after the two left a casino together in the day's wee hours.

The slaying happened five years to the day after Holloway's disappearance, an Alabama woman who was celebrating her high school graduation in Aruba and was seen leaving a nightclub with van der Sloot. Her body has never been found.

Van der Sloot said on Friday he would "sincerely confess" to killing Flores in a plea strategy aimed at reducing his eventual prison sentence, prompting judges to suspend the trial until Wednesday.

Under Peruvian law, a prison term for a "sincere confession" to a murder is normally much shorter than one for an outright guilty plea. Prosecutors have said van der Sloot robbed and killed Flores before fleeing the scene of a crime to Chile.

But on the first day of his trial in Lima on Friday, he told the court he should not be charged with aggravating circumstances of the murder that could lengthen his sentence.

The 24-year-old Dutch citizen had repeatedly shaken his head as the prosecutor described for the judges how van der Sloot allegedly "brutally" beat and strangled the victim in his Lima hotel room, intending to rob her.

A "sincere confession" to the judges means the trial would quickly enter a sentencing phase and he could spend less than a decade behind bars. click here to read more

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