Van der Sloot ordered to jail
Charged with 1st-degree murder in woman’s death
LIMA — Angry Peruvian onlookers shouted “disgrace!’’ and “murderer!’’ at Joran van der Sloot yesterday after a judge ordered him jailed on first-degree murder and robbery charges in the violent killing of a 21-year-old Lima woman.
Prosecutors said the Dutchman, who was taken to a segregated block of an eastern Lima prison, acted with “ferocity and great cruelty’’ in killing business student Stephany Flores in his hotel room after they met playing poker.
Van der Sloot remains the lone suspect in the 2005 disappearance of US teen Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean resort island of Aruba, and Peru’s criminal police chief says the defendant told interrogators he knows where her body is.
Aruba’s attorney general, Taco Stein, said yesterday that he is skeptical van der Sloot was telling the truth about Holloway’s body. He said Aruban officials will decide whether to sent investigators to Peru to question him once they learn exactly what he is offering.
Lima Superior Court Judge Juan Buendia issued a detention order before dawn for van der Sloot on the murder charge. He was first taken with other prisoners in an armored truck to Lima’s judicial palace, then alone to the maximum-security Castro Castro prison.
Police ushered van der Sloot to the judicial palace, a scarf around his neck, and his hands cuffed behind him. The more virulent catcalls — the sensational case has dominated Peru’s news for a week — came from onlookers as he was taken from the prosecutor’s office where he had been held since Thursday. One onlooker threw spoiled lettuce.
Police say van der Sloot brutally murdered Flores three days after meeting her at a casino. He broke her nose, strangled her, threw her to the floor then emptied her wallet and drove away in her sport utility vehicle, said General Cesar Guardia, chief of the criminal police.
The 6-foot-3 van der Sloot took about $300 worth of Peruvian currency, two credit cards, and Flores’s national ID card, Guardia said. He said the suspect abandoned her car in a Lima neighborhood before fleeing south to Chile by bus.
If convicted on the murder and robbery charges, van der Sloot would be sentenced to between 15 and 35 years in prison, court spokesman Luis Gallardo said.