Police in Peru have released a video of murder suspect Joran van der Sloot in which he confessed to the slaying of a young Peruvian woman.
In the video that was broadcast Monday by Peruvian news station RPP Noticias, the 23-year-old Dutchman allegedly said he strangled 21-year-old business student Stephany Flores on May 30, 2010, after she used his laptop to find out about his involvement in the case of Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old Alabama student who vanished in Aruba in May 2005.
When an investigator asked, "Did you murder Stephany Flores," Van der Sloot replied, "Yes."
The video was filmed in June 2010, and he tried to recant his statement soon thereafter. Authorities have previously released only transcripts of their interviews with van der Sloot.
"I did not want to do it," van der Sloot said about the attack. "The girl intruded into my private life. She had no right. I went to her, and I hit her. She was scared. We argued, and she tried to escape. I grabbed her by the neck, and I hit her."
Investigators also said he enjoyed a cocktail of coffee and drugs in the minutes following Flores' slaying while he contemplated how to dispose of her body.
"I was going to use one of my suitcases to take her out of the hotel, but I didn't do it because I was afraid someone [would] stop me carrying my luggage without paying," van der Sloot allegedly told police.
Police said that after the deed was done and van der Sloot realized that he could not hide Flores' body, he showered, changed his clothes and grabbed a few belongings before fleeing the scene. Flores was found dead in van der Sloot's Lima, Peru, hotel room three days later, on June 2, 2010, setting off a police manhunt that ended with his arrest in Chile the following day.
The Dutchman is charged with first-degree murder and robbery in Flores' slaying.
Van der Sloot was in police custody less than a week before his alleged confession. In the weeks that followed, he reportedly retracted his statement, saying police had "tricked" him. Van der Sloot claimed he was falsely promised that he would be extradited back to the Netherlands if he agreed to the statement.
"I was scared and confused during the interrogation and wanted to leave," van der Sloot told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. "In my blind panic, I signed everything but didn't know what it said."
It was not the first time van der Sloot has changed his story. He has both given and retracted several admissions of involvement in the disappearance of Holloway, who vanished while vacationing in Aruba six years ago.
JORAN VAN DER SLOOT CASE (ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
Holloway was last seen alive with van der Sloot, who initially told investigators that he left her drunk and alone on a beach. However, in 2007, a Dutch television crime reporter secretly recorded him saying that after Holloway passed out, he asked a friend to dump her body in the sea. He changed his story again in 2009, allegedly telling German news agency RTL that a drunken Holloway had fallen off a balcony at his friend's house and that he hid her body in a swamp because he was afraid of being prosecuted.
On June 25, 2010, Peruvian Superior Court Judge Wilder Casique rejected a habeus corpus motion on behalf of van der Sloot to void his confession in the Flores case.
Earlier this month, pre-trial hearings began in van der Sloot's murder trial. Peruvian prosecutors are seeking a 30-year prison sentence and $73,000 restitution for Flores' family. They allege van der Sloot's motive was robbery.
Van der Sloot's attorney wants to enter a manslaughter plea on behalf of his client, with a reduced sentence of six to 20 years. Van der Sloot's defense is that he was temporarily insane.
The trial is expected to begin in Lima, Peru, in October. If convicted, van der Sloot faces 15 to 35 years in prison.
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