Joran van der Sloot to Plead Guilty to Murder

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

The lawyer for accused murderer Joran van der Sloot said his client plans to plead guilty to killing a woman in Peru. However, the attorney said he will argue temporary insanity in an attempt to shorten his sentence.

Maximo Altez told the Associated Press that he will use a "violent emotion" defense for van der Sloot for the murder of Stephany Flores last year. The AP said such a plea is common in Peru for crimes of passion, such as when a spouse catches his or her mate committing adultery.

The first-degree murder charge carries 15-35 years in prison. If a judge accepts the "violent emotion" plea, van der Sloot would be sentenced to three to five years, and Altez said he could be free in just 20 months

Altez said he intends to argue that van der Sloot killed Flores in a rage after she learned of his connection to the Natalee Holloway case by looking at his laptop. 

The lawyer for the victim's family is outraged, saying van der Sloot deserves to spend at least 25 years in prison. "The manner in which the suspect killed Stephany evidenced disproportionate violence," attorney Edward Alvarez said.

In a confession last year, van der Sloot said he slammed Flores in the face with his elbow, strangled her and then asphyxiated her.

Holloway's mother Beth Twitty called the planned plea "outrageous." Her lawyer John Kelly told the AP that Twitty plans to "make whatever noise she has to" to make sure it doesn't happen.

Kelly said even if van der Sloot somehow gets out of prison in just a couple of years, he still faces prosecution in the U.S for wire fraud and extortion. Van der Sloot was indicted last year in Alabama for allegedly trying to extort $250,000 from Twitty in exchange for the whereabouts of Holloway's body.

Van der Sloot has never been charged in connection with Holloway's 2005 disappearance in Aruba.