Joran van der Sloot, the main suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, this morning pleaded guilty to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman, Stephany Flores, in Lima.
The Associated Press reports that van der Sloot told a court in Lima that "yes, I want to plead guilty. I wanted from the first moment to confess sincerely. ... I truly am sorry for this act. I feel very bad."
The wire service adds that:
"Van der Sloot claimed in a confession shortly after the May 30, 2010, murder [of Flores] that he killed her in a fit of rage after she discovered on his laptop his connection to the disappearance of Holloway. But prosecutors say Van der Sloot killed Flores, a business student from a prominent family, in order to rob her after learning she had won money at the casino where the two met."
"The 24-year-old Dutch national faces a sentence of 30 years in prison, but his attorney hopes his guilty plea, called an 'anticipated conclusion of the process,' will reduce that term."
As NBC-TV's The Today Show reminds us, "van der Sloot was arrested twice in the Holloway case but he was never charged due to a lack of evidence. Holloway's family has criticized Dutch authorities for not making more progress in the case."