Joran van der Sloot has pleaded guilty to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a casino.
The Associated Press reports van der Sloot entered the plea Wednesday in a court in Lima, Peru. "Yes, I want to plead guilty. I wanted from the first moment to confess sincerely," he told the court. "I truly am sorry for this act. I feel very bad."
The lawyer for the 24-year-old Dutchman argued after his client's brief statement that the defendant killed 21-year-old Stephany Flores as a result of "extreme psychological trauma" he suffered from the fallout of the 2005 disappearance of American Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba.
Van der Sloot's trial began last week but was adjourned until Wednesday after the defendant asked for more time to decide how to plead. He is believed to have entered the guilty plea in hopes of receiving a reduced sentence. The sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Friday. If convicted on first-degree murder and theft charges, van der Sloot could get up to 30 years in a Peruvian prison.
Van der Sloot still remains the main suspect in the disappearance of Holloway, the Alabama teenager who disappeared in 2005 while on a high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba, where the suspect grew up.