LIMA, Peru (AP) — Joran van der Sloot plans to plead guilty to killing a young Peruvian woman he met gambling but will argue temporary insanity in a bid to shorten his sentence, his defense lawyer said Monday.
Van der Sloot, the key suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba, will use a "violent emotion" defense in the slaying of Stephany Flores, attorney Maximo Altez told The Associated Press.
Altez said he filed papers three weeks ago informing prosecutors of his intent to argue that Van der Sloot became enraged and killed the 21-year-old Peruvian business student last May 30 because she had learned of his relation to Holloway by looking in his laptop.
The 23-year-old Dutchman is accused of first-degree murder, which carries a 15- to 35-year sentence on conviction.
If the insanity defense were to be accepted by a trial judge, Van der Sloot would be sentenced to 3 to 5 years and could be free within 20 months, Altez said.
The lawyer for the victim's family called the proposed plea absurd, saying Van der Sloot deserved to spend a minimum of 25 years in prison.
"The manner in which the suspect killed Stephany evidenced disproportionate violence," attorney Edward Alvarez said. The autopsy found the young woman was bludgeoned and asphyxiated.
Alvarez said Van der Sloot also stole money and other items from Flores.
Because of delays in Peru's judicial process, Van der Sloot has not yet been formally charged.
(This version CORRECTS that family lawyer said Van der Sloot, not Holloway, stole items from Peruivan victim.)
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