Report: Peru Detectives to Request Murder Charge Against Joran Van der Sloot

News reports from Peru tonight say detectives in Peru will release their report tomorrow recommending Joran Van der Sloot be charged with homicide, not manslaughter, which carries a sentence of between 15 and 35 years. (Google translation here.)

The report lists as aggravating factors that he concealed evidence and fled the country. Also considered key: The statements of the hotel receptionist Adeli Abad and her supervisor, Antonio Kuanand that of Uruguayan poker player Elton Garcia. [More...]

According to the report, the fact that convinced them the murder charge is appropriate are these: that Joran left to get coffee and returned to the room, killed Stephany Flores, and then went down to the reception area again (holding one of the coffees) and paid for another two nights, and within minutes left the hotel with his belongings.

If I understand the Spanish version of the article, the report also states that Joran told his interrogators he met Stephany in the casino on May 28 and they exchanged phone numbers and made arrangements to meet at the casino Saturday night. He also told them there were no romantic intentions, and that they were playing online poker on his computer.

Joran now has a lawyer who arrived in Peru last night and immediately went to the police station where he is being held. No details yet on who that is.

Tomorrow this report will go to the public prosecutor, and then to the court.

< Casino Pictures of Joran Van der Sloot and Stephany Flores | Jack Abramoff Released to Half-Way House >
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  • how about this whole thing (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by cpinva on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 10:41:37 AM EST
    doesn't come close to passing either the smell or laugh test? this is beginning to sound very similar to the duke lacross team rape case: multiple conflicting stories, little apparent tangible evidence, quick public announcements by the authorities.

    it may not be comparable at all, but the peruvian police were awfully quick to tout mr. van der sloot's "confession", gained under questionable circumstances and apparently without counsel at his side.

    i just see this blowing up in everyone's face soon, now that he has an attorney. the unfortunate part is, since they solely focussed on him, right from the start, they've probably missed their best opportunity to interview all parties, and get clean answers. and god only knows what they did to the crime scene, if that's what the room actually was.

    Paying for another two nights when he (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:27:36 PM EST
    left--that would definitely count as a circumstance in aggravation in U.S.

    Haven't seen any comments here yet on the fact Peru doesn't have death penalty but U.S. does.  Interesting, no?  

    Why interesting? (none / 0) (#2)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:37:40 PM EST
    Very, very few countries have the death penalty now, so it's more the rule than the exception.

    Because there have been many comments (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:48:33 PM EST
    on the Peruvian system of justice and punishment.  

    I don't think any Latin American country (none / 0) (#29)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:44:46 AM EST
    has the death penalty.  It is becoming more and more a uniquely American punishment....

    A little puzzling that they say (none / 0) (#3)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 11:39:43 PM EST
    he paid for an additional two nights for the room, since the ostensible reason the hotel supervisor went into his room was because he hadn't.  And we certainly don't see him doing that on the video, although he may have on part of it we haven't seen, of course.

    I wonder what the mysterious Elton Garcia has to do with this case, though?  Any guesses?

    yes, see my earlier posts (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 12:06:33 AM EST
    Elton played in the poker tournament. He played poker four times with Stephany in May. He was either playing at the same table that last night or saw them playing together and saw them leaving. He was staying at the same hotel. He's the one who asked the casino manager Tuesday night to call the hotel and ask for Stephany. He was afraid they had been kidnapped. He said he was supposed to meet Joran for dinner at a certain restaurant Tuesday and got worried when he didn't show.

    Later Tues, or Weds. am, he got back to the hotel and her body had already been found. The police wanted to talk to him. They showed him the picture of her dead body and he recognized her. They asked him to go look at the body to be sure and he refused, saying he could tell it was her.

    He had Joran's cell phone number stored in his phone. He told the police it must have gotten stored accidentally because he barely knew the guy, mostly by sight. He said they weren't friends.(Yet he made plans to have dinner with him 2 days in advance.)

    Other reports have him saying he, Joran and Stephany played poker together before that night.

    When Joran was questioned in Peru, the prosecutor asked him if he had any friends there. He said "One" and named Elton Garcia.

    Garcia went on to play in the tournament June 1 and 2 and finished 26th on June 2, winning $5800 (or so.)

    Links to all the above are in my earlier posts.


    But that doesn't explain what (none / 0) (#8)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 12:33:45 AM EST
    key evidence he constitutes, does it?  I have followed your comments about this guy with interest.  I just don't see what he knows or did is relevant to whether Joran is guilty of murder.

    we don't know (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:34:27 AM EST
    but if he's staying at the same hotel, is at the casino when they leave at 5 am, why isn't anyone asking what time he got back to the hotel? Her body wasn't found for 2 to 3 days. Why wasn't he viewed as an alternate suspect in the beginning instead of as a witness? Is it because his name wasn't Joran van der Sloot?

    maybe Joran (none / 0) (#12)
    by ding7777 on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 06:58:25 AM EST
    is the only person on the hotel video tape entering/exiting rm 309.

    Also, since the police inspected Elton's cell phone maybe he was initially more than a witness


    Maybe they tracked Garcia on (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 09:07:39 AM EST
    the hotel lobby-cam and hotel surveillance cameras near his room and already know when he went to his room.  Maybe they saw him enter and exit at times that exonerate him in some way. Maybe he wasn't alone, and has an alibi.

    Also not making sense (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 12:08:19 AM EST
    Joran got to the hotel on May 16 and pre-paid two weeks. He was paid through May 30. If he paid another two days when he left, he wouldn't be 2 days behind the night they went looking for the body.

    Maybe his payment wasn't good. (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 12:17:25 AM EST
    Bad check.  Debit card/charge card.  Wasn't he purportedly emailing friends asking for money?

    yes, there's a Dutch article with (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:36:42 AM EST
    purported e-mails between Joran and an unidentified person about sending Joran some money days before this. Maybe he made money in the ensuing few days. And I'm not sure I buy that those are real emails.

    Open & Shut (none / 0) (#11)
    by robrecht on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 05:25:15 AM EST
    They knew each other somewhat.

    Joran was expecting sex with Stephany?  Or she's gambling on his computer with his on-line account, losing his money.  That also seems like a possible motive for  a fight, or a supposed bank transfer.  Or she's researching his connection to the Nathalee Holloway case.  Seems less plausible, perhaps, but who knows?  Gambling sites, banking accounts, Google searches, etc  could be checked, but only Joran, and anyone he's told, knows the real motive.

    Maybe Stephany (and Elton) set up Joran in some way.  Did she/they choose the date as the anniversary of Natalee Holloway's disappearance/death?

    Or did Joran 'choose' the date in some kind of compulsion?

    Or is the date completely meaningless in this crime, just a bizarre coincidence that Joran is implicated twice in a disappearance/murder on May 30th?

    Not sure if anyone can really answer these questions of motive/passion excpet Joran and he seems to have a checkered history with the truth.  Maybe he doesn't even know his own motives.  Or Elton, or another, if anyone else was involved.

    Bottom line.  Did anyone else enter the room other than Joran and Stephany?  If not, all the novelistic speculation doesn't really matter except for those who find it entertaining.  The police's ability to author a credible novella may be limited or compromised by a number of factors, but can they prove that only Joran and Stephany entered the room--that's the bottom line.  With a video camera right outside the room, this could be the quintessential open and shut case.

    withdrawing confession (none / 0) (#14)
    by waldenpond on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 09:37:14 AM EST
    A reporter states that VDS lawyer is requesting the confession be striked as VDS did not have representation.  VDS has been moved and the case turned over to prosecutors.  The reporter states there is no problem withdrawing the confession, it occurs all the time and they go on to trial.  It could be 18 months before trial, it can be extended for up to another 18 months.

    If this were the US they would tack on a kidnapping charge.

    Guilty pleasure (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:06:00 AM EST
    I'm hoping for a trial because that's probably the only hope of answering at least some of the many large and small mysteries and questinos we've all had about this case.  That plus it's always good to force the prosecution to have to really prove its case.

    Questinos y preguntas (none / 0) (#21)
    by robrecht on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:20:20 AM EST

    Any additional proof of guilt? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 10:45:41 AM EST
    We now have pretty much a charge and a sentence -

    Tossed out confession without a reason other than no legal representation (didn't his lawyer know he was being interrogated?)

    He is now being sent to a medical facility.  (Or is this to determine whether he is conpetent to stand trial, and for that I ask, what trial?)

    I would never underestimate the corruption and cruelity of the Peruvian law enforcement.

    The question, which is American, and which isn't being answered truthfully.  Did Beth Holloway send $25,000 to Van der Sloot as the FBI says she did, or, did the FBI send $25,000 as BH says they did?

    No (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 10:59:08 AM EST
    The confession wasn't tossed - his lawyer is going to ask to supress it because, he will argue, VDS wasn't properly represented.  That's what laywers do. (It hasn't been entered as evidence yet).

    No - he was not sent to a medical facility, he was sent to the Attorney General's office complex.

    And I don't understand your last question.  Even if there is a conflict - why do you think it would matter? (And I haven't heard of any conflict, so please enlighten us).


    FBI stated 'private money' - they did not send any (none / 0) (#19)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:09:34 AM EST
    So what? (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:20:25 AM EST
    Yes, it's being reported that the FBI sent the money to his account.  That's what a sting is.

    Why does it matter?


    Truth (none / 0) (#24)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:31:01 AM EST
    Being lied to does strange things to me - just don't like it.  

    If US can't be totally honest with this failed FBI/Holloway sting, then why expect Peru to be held to any higher standards?


    jbinc (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:41:12 AM EST
    I am taking this opportunity to limit your comments to four a day on my threads. It does not apply to BTD's threads unless he makes the same decision. You have become a chatterer per the comment rules. Please abide by the new restrictions or you will be banned. If you have a problem with this, send me an email, rather than reply in comments. I should have done this weeks or months ago. I've warned you before, and you haven't listened. You've also been banned here once before using another name, which is also in violation of the comment rules.

    CNN (none / 0) (#23)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:28:21 AM EST
    Last update version states,

    . . . "Peruvian tv earlier reported that he was transferred to a medical facility, across the street. . . from the national attorney general's office"

    Beth Holloway has denied being involved was the first story; then the FBI did the sting; now, on one of the news channels last evening, the FBI is stating it did not send $25,000, a private individual sent that money to Joran Van der Sloot.
    Why is even this a mystery is my point?


    Again, so what? (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:36:18 AM EST
    . . . "Peruvian tv earlier reported that he was transferred to a medical facility, across the street. . . from the national attorney general's office"

    If, as gyrfalcon said, it's standard procedure for a medical exam once the prosecutor gets the case, what's the problem? This would be a good way to document if he was coerced in a "barbaric" fashion, no?  Or, they can also document there is no evidence of physical coercion.

    If, in the "first story" you mean Beth Twitty denied involvement - well, maybe (and I'm jsut guessing here) is that because the feds did not release her name for privacy and security reasons, so maybe she was going along with that.

    I'm not an expert in extortion, but I don't believe it doesn't really matter who sent him the money - what matters in this is his intent. I mean, I could have wired him the money after he made the alleged contact - it doesn't matter.


    Medical facility (none / 0) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:12:46 AM EST
    One of the U.S. reporters down there, maybe Jean Casarez, said that part of the procedure when a suspect is officially turned over for prosecution is a medical exam.

    Where did you get the info that Beth Twitty said it was the FBI's money?  I have not heard that.  Or it may be just a misunderstanding of terms.  The FBI may have handled the wire transfer, but it was her money that was being risked, not ours.

    VDS did not have a lawyer initially, and I believe there's no requirement under their system that he have representation.  And no Miranda warning.  And sometimes people don't do what their lawyers tell them to do.


    In a hurry? (none / 0) (#27)
    by waldenpond on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:39:19 AM EST
    ha! You seem in a hurry.  No charges yet.  It's common to toss confessions in Peru.  Yes, the lawyer knew he was being interrogated and wanted him to do the 'walk through' as it's part of the process there.

    I hope they aren't releasing 'additiona proof of guilt' and are saving it for the trial.  If they kept dumping data, that wouldn't be fair to VDS.

    My question about the FBI... does it matter the track the money took?  I believe the basic accusation of taking money for providing false info is illegal either way.


    From what I can determine (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 11:37:08 AM EST
    from the typically convoluted news articles, he's in a holding cell at the prosecutor's office. She has the police report now and will make a decision on what charges to file. The investigation is over, which is why he was moved from police headquarters building to the prosectuor's building.

    There are many versions of which lawyer was with him during the confession. The public defender who was appointed has said at the last minute she was told some other lawyer was going with him and she didn't go. Other reports say she was there but withdrew from repesenting him after he confessed.

    Even today, CNN and the Peruvian papers give different names for the new lawyer representing him.

    There's also a psychological report that's been done.

    I think what happens now is charges will be announced today and then he will be moved to one of Peru's prisons. The INPE will decide where that will be.

    Here's more on how the system works.

    Here's the link for the Public Prosecutor's office.

    What the F ? (none / 0) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 01:04:00 PM EST
    ...is the FBI doing in Aruba trying to set-up a non-US citizen for murder with a payoff from private funding ?

    For all we know, the FBI was the cash behind the Peru trip, making them indirectly responsible for the Peruvian girl's murder.  She could have been in touch with the FBI and now they are covering their tracks ASAP.  I have a hard time believing the Feds, who were paying attention to VdS, didn't realize he was in another country.  They don't get plane manifests and run them against their databases ??  Pleaze.

    I would love to find out how many taxpayer hours were spent arranging this debacle.  This is private investigator territory, not our National Police.

    What is it Pablo used to say, 'silver or lead' ?  Well looks like out FBI is in the silver business and I think it stinks about 6 different ways.  

    The good ole USA has plenty of murders for them to try and extract information from with questionable payoffs.

    FBI backtracking providing funds (none / 0) (#32)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 03:04:21 PM EST
    They, said as of last night, it was private funding that paid VdS the $25,000.  That is a huge chunk of change to give someone you believe to be a murderer and who have been viewed as a pathological liar for the past five years.

    What did they really expect to receive out of this payment?  Surely experience should teach it couldn't ever be the truth, and it is too much money for another version of what happened to Natalee. (Or, is it false hope from a heart-broken mother?)

    Then what?  The FBI wanted more than extortion, they stated, hence, no arrest when the money was transferred.

    They seem to have gotten more than extortion.  

    Was VdS framed?  Is that why the confession or the crime scene don't make sense and have conflicting stories?  And, then, we have May 30th to absorb as merely coincidence or the work of a serial killer (without any proof)?

    No, neither confession makes any sense and no version of what may have happened as yet is  plausible insofar as I am concerned.

    Great point was made about VdS's laptop being in Dutch and Stephany unable to read Dutch (to our knowledge).

    Also, feel money is the bait from the get-go, so it may have followed through - but how?



    Was Joran's laptop solely in Dutch? (none / 0) (#34)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 03:24:22 PM EST
    Similar to the Holloway case, van der Sloot and Flores allegedly met at a night spot, in this case, a casino. Ricardo Flores said he did not believe that his daughter knew the Dutch citizen from before.

    Both of them speak English, and at the casino they struck up conversation, he said.

    Joran's brother attends college in Boston, and is presumably completely fluent in English, are you sure Joran's laptop was solely in Dutch?

    If his laptop was mostly, or even solely, in Dutch, would that prevent the girl from snooping around on it?


    Computer (none / 0) (#35)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 03:31:55 PM EST
    The computer story is a MacGuffin created by someone waaaaay less talented than Hitchcock, would be my guess.

    You don't need to understand Dutch (none / 0) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 04:42:55 PM EST
    to get to Google.

    The odds that he was carrying around incriminating evidence in personal files about a case that's five years old on a new computer are close to zero.  And even if she were an FBI agent or some sort of spy, she could not possibly have been dumb enough to risk getting caught fishing through his own files on his computer in a language she didn't understand to find stuff that had about a one in a million chance of being there.

    So clearly, Joran's story is that she was Googling him, which is entirely possible.  In any case, the police will have figured out who was doing what on that computer in that time period pretty quickly.


    To google or not to google (none / 0) (#38)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 05:09:08 PM EST
    If she had a clue who he was she would have to google and if she didn't know who he was then why would she google him?  (In any language!)

    Sorry, not have to google (none / 0) (#39)
    by Untold Story on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 05:09:45 PM EST
    service to US citizens murdered abroad (none / 0) (#33)
    by diogenes on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 03:09:28 PM EST
    The FBI was pursuing information on the murder of a US citizen, Natalie Holloway.  It was also pursuing information (i.e. finding the body, etc) which might lead to closure for the parents of Natalie Holloway, who are also US citizens.

    I Get That, but... (none / 0) (#36)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 04:08:50 PM EST
    ... Do we let other National Police mingle so recklessly in American affairs.  Say a Peruvian was killed on US soil, then the Peruvian police arrange a payoff using private funds, then an American ends up dead.  

    A Peruvian woman is dead and in all likelihood the money used by VdS to get to Peru was arranged by the US Government.  Then add in the $25k which was probably not unknown to a lot of people, and you have a hell of a reason for murder and/or a set-up.

    My point is that there has to be limits in International law/treaties about who can do what in which countries and our FBI poking around and setting up payoffs is something I am not real comfortable with.  Now there is a body and no-one seems to care that out National police were in the middle.

    More importantly, is the FBI this interested in all murders, mainly the ones they are responsible for solving, domestic, or are they on some sort of vendetta for this particular one.  Americans get killed oversees, does the FBI investigate each one, and do they arrange payoffs if their is a hope for a confession ?  

    One last thing mentioned above, who sends $25k internationally for a confession they couldn't get over a long investigation, to a supposed killer that has a habit of lying ?  And if the family spent $25k on that, how much would they spend to see VdS sit in prison ?


    partial set up (none / 0) (#40)
    by pac on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 09:39:07 PM EST
    Say Garcia or Stephany were in together to record Joran, or some circumstance unreported, might explain more a loss of temper. Considering Holloway private eyes and ? is it known Garcia was not a set up in that respect.

    I don't buy into the Holloway's setting up a murder intentionally, regardless handing over a large sum of money to someone they consider dangerous or unstable difficult to fathom.

    Jessieunderwood (none / 0) (#41)
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