CRIME

Joran Van Der Sloot Trial Suspended (UPDATE)

UPDATE: 11:55 a.m. -- Joran van der Sloot defied reports that he would plead guilty today at the opening of his Peruvian trial in the killing of Stefany Flores. Instead, the Dutchman requested more time before entering a plea and the trial was suspended until Jan. 11.

PREVIOUSLY:

At the opening of his murder trial Friday in Peru, Joran van der Sloot's defense is expected to start with him pleading guilty, CNN reported.

Van der Sloot, a longtime suspect in the 2005 disappearance in Aruba of American teenager Natalee Holloway, is charged with first-degree murder and robbery for the May 2010 slaying of Stephany Flores, 21. Flores was found dead in his hotel room in Lima on June 2, 2010.

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.

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According to CNN, the 24-year-old Dutchman’s attorney, Luis Jimenez, said his client plans to plead guilty to all charges in the Flores case. Jimenez said the intention would be for van der Sloot to give a "sincere confession," which could qualify him for a more lenient sentence under Peruvian law, the cable news network reported.

Flores was killed on May 30, 2010 -- exactly five years after Holloway disappeared. The Alabama teen's body has never been found, and van der Sloot has never been charged in her disappearance. He was, however, indicted in the U.S. on charges that he extorted $25,000 from the young woman's parents. Prosecutors said that, in exchange for the money, he promised to reveal how Holloway died and the location of her body.

Van der Sloot's trial begins at 10:00 a.m. in Lima's Lurigancho prison near the Castro Castro prison. Unlike a typical American trial, there will be no jury. Instead, three judges will preside over the trial.

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Natalee Holloway