That Took Long Enough: Joran van der Sloot Charged with Murder

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

More than a year after being arrested for the killing of a young woman in Peru, Joran van der Sloot has formally been charged with murder.

Van der Sloot is accused of killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores in a hotel room in Lima in May 2010. He allegedly killed her in a fit of rage after she used his laptop to access information about the Natalee Holloway case.

Holloway disappeared in Aruba back in 2005 after being last seen with van der Sloot. He is a suspect in that case but has never been charged. Her body has not been found.

A lawyer for the Flores family told the Associated Press that he was notified on Thursday that formal charges were filed. Edward Alvarez estimated the trial would begin in October.

Prosecutors are asking for 30 years in prison if convicted. However van der Sloot's attorney said he thinks that is entirely too much time behind bars.

"We think 30 years is too much for this crime since it was an isolated incident without any further acts of violence," Luis Jimenez Navarro said. "We have had cases in Peru under similar circumstances that have gotten less than 25 years."