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Prosecutors won't seek life in prison for Joran Van der Sloot

Joran van der Sloot over photos of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway (left), and Stephany Flores.
CBS/AP

(CBS/WIAT) BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Peruvian prosecutors will seek a 30-year-sentence in the murder trial of Joran Van der Sloot, accused of killing a 21-year-old student, rather than pursue a life sentence, the judiciary said Tuesday.

Van der Sloot has confessed to killing Stephany Flores who he met at a poker tournament. Her body was found in van der Sloot's Lima hotel room five years to the day of Natalee Holloway's disappearance on a graduation trip to Aruba. Van der Sloot was arrested during the Holloway investigation but never charged.

In September, Flores family had asked that Van der Sloot's charges be upgraded to a more stringent charge, carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison, reports CNN.

The panel, however, ruled in favor of prosecutors' original charges of murder and robbery.

The charge of "robbery with murder" would have carried a possible life sentence, while the original charges of "murder followed by robbery" carry only a 30 year maximum sentence, reports CBS affiliate WIAT.

According to Reuters, van der Sloot will be eligible for parole after serving only 10 years.

Pablo Sánchez Velarde,the public prosecutor in the Peruvian capital Lima characterized the original charges as 'clear and coherent', WIAT reports. 

Van der Sloot told investigators in Peru that he killed Stephany Flores after she found material about Natalee on a laptop in his hotel room, WIAT reports. He's claiming the equivalent of a crime of passion. Police investigators say he killed and robbed her because he was broke and desperate.

  • Crimesider Staff

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