Joran van der Sloot, scheduled for another hearing before a Peruvian court today, is likely to admit having killed a young woman in Lima in 2010, according to his attorney—the Agence France Presse reports.
Van der Sloot also is the chief suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, an American teenager who vanished on the Caribbean island of Aruba in 2005. He was twice arrested in that case but never formally charged.
At his initial hearing last week in the death of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, he told the court he needed more time to think about his plea.
“It can be said that things are on track,” Jose Luis Jimenez, van der Sloot’s attorney, told AFP.
The defense attorney said van der Sloot would be ready to fully admit the prosecution’s charges that blame him for killing Flores “with cruelty and ferocity” in a Lima hotel on May 30, 2010 after they met playing poker in a casino.
Flores, who was found beaten and strangled, died five years to the day from Holloway’s disappearance.
The prosecution is asking that van der Sloot be sentenced to 30 years in prison.
“So far, we are headed in that direction (of a guilty plea), nothing special has changed,” said Jimenez, who said he would have a final meeting with the accused before the hearing Wednesday.
“You don’t have to be very smart to know where it’s going,” he said.
Admitting guilt would allow van der Sloot, 24, to qualify for an “early termination” of his case, which comes with benefits under Peruvian law such as a reduced sentence and authorized leave from prison.
If he pleads guilty, the court has jurisdiction to sentence him within 48 hours.
If van der Sloot denies the charges, he would go through a legal process that could make him subject to potential life imprisonment.
Van der Sloot’s attorney estimated days ago that his client could have his sentence reduced by 15 years with a guilty plea.
“That’s absurd,” said Edward Alvarez, lawyer for the family of the victim, who added a reduced sentence is “at the discretion of the court.”
He also said van der Sloot was unlikely to receive the kinds of prison privileges granted in the Netherlands because examinations of him determined he was a “psychopath” who represented a danger to society if he were freed.
During a hearing Friday before Judge Victoria Montoya, van der Sloot said he might be willing to make a sincere confession, but that he did not agree with charges he acted with “cruelty and ferocity.” He then asked the court for more time to think about his plea.
For the original report go to http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/says_der_sloot_likely_attorney_admit_EQd5Abmeq1sWAjKccBzN7K#ixzz1j7X5UwaX