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Joran van der Sloot pleads guilty to killing Peru woman

Left photo: Joran van der Sloot sits in a car after being released from custody near Oranjestad, Aruba, Friday, Dec. 7, 2007. Right photo: In this undated photo from Peru's National Identitfication Registry, Stephany Flores is seen.

January 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Joran van der Sloot pleaded guilty to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino.

Van der Sloot, 24, is charged with killing Stephany Flores exactly five years after the unsolved disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway, who was seen leaving a nightclub in Aruba with Van der Sloot. Her body has never been found.

Authorities said Van der Sloot confessed to killing Flores, claiming he became enraged after she discovered his connection to Holloway. His murder trial opened last week but was adjourned to Wednesday after he asked for more time to decide how to plead.

Prosecutors argue that Van der Sloot killed Flores in order to rob her after learning she had won money at the casino where the two met.

Van der Sloot entered the plea in hopes of a reduced sentence. The panel of three judges has 48 hours to render a sentence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.