Wedding Bells for Joran Van Der Sloot

Joran Van der Sloot, 26, will marry his 22 year old girlfriend at Piedras Gordas prison in Peru today. The couple are expecting their first child. Joran, who is serving a 28 year sentence for killing Peruvian Stephany Flores, met his bride while detained pending trial at Miguel Castro Castro prison in San Juan de Lurigancho, where she worked in a kiosk with her parents selling cigarettes and sundries. [More...]

Peru has agreed to extradite Joran to the U.S. to face federal charges of extortion and wire fraud in Alabama when he finishes his sentence in Peru. The sentence is officially up in 2038, but Joran has been accepted to a long distance learning university, through which he can earn substantial time off his sentence.

He would ordinarily be eligible for release after serving 1/3 of his sentence (9 years). With prison benefits, he could get a few more years shaved off. He also served a year and a half in pre-trial detention, which comes off the 28 years. It's possible he could be finished with his sentence in another 5 to 6 years. According to his lawyer, he won't fight extradition to the U.S. when his Peruvian sentence is finished.

The Alabama charges arose out of a sting, during which Natalee Holloway's mother and lawyer agreed to pay Joran $250,000. in exchange for information about Natalee's remains. The FBI was in on the deal and monitored events -- conducting surveillance and videotaping the money transfer. Joran fell for the Holloway scam, accepted a down payment of $25,000. in two installments, the first of which was brought by the lawyer and hand delivered to him in Aruba in cash. (The FBI says it was Holloway's money, not their money, as had been claimed by an investigator.)

Joran later admitted in an email to the lawyer that the information he gave the lawyer was false. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 5 years. The Indictment is here, and the affidavit in support of the original complaint is here.

What's not said in the affidavit: Whose idea was it for Joran to contact Holloway's lawyer? Was it one of Hollway's private detectives or someone the detectives knew to be in touch with Joran? In other words, just because Joran contacted lawyer Kelly before Kelly contacted him, doesn't mean the idea didn't originate with Team Holloway and Joran just took the bait.

Two weeks after accepting the extortion money, Joran went to Peru, where he killed Stephany Flores. Shortly after the extortion news broke, a senior FBI official defended not arresting Joran when he accepted the money and took the lawyer to a site he claimed held Holloway's remains.

A senior FBI official defended bureau´s moves on CBS News as an attempt to get van der Sloot for murder, not just extortion: Van der Sloot "had avoided arrest for five years. If we had nabbed him [for extortion], he would have clammed up. He is not afraid of anyone. It would have spooked him."

In other words, the FBI was working on getting him for Holloway's murder, and the extortion plot was part of that investigation. There was a lot of criticism of the FBI at the time, under the theory that had the FBI sought Joran's arrest and extradition when he met Kelly in Peru, accepted the money and took Kelly to the place he said held Natalee's remains, Joran would not have been able to go to Peru, where he killed Flores.

The extortion sting is just one of the traps Holloway's mother has tried to set for Joran. Another was when snuck into Joran's prison in Peru with a camera, pretending to be a journalist, hoping to get answers from him (she was kicked out of the prison when discovered.)

So what does Joran gain by the marriage? As I understand it, just the opportunity for extra good time. Once married, he will get Peruvian citizenship, and become eligible for the benefits. (It doesn't prevent his extradition.) Google translate isn't the best, but from what I've read, it seems for offenses committed prior to October, 2010, foreigners didn't get prison benefits for work and education, and the recent law changing this was not made retroactive. One thing that is puzzling is that law on parole and benefits says you can't have a pending detainer in another criminal case. Given the extradition order, it would seem Joran would be ineligible. But his lawyers never mention that, so perhaps the detention order has to be for another offense within Peru in order to be deemed ineligible.

As to why he is eligible for parole after serving 1/3 of his sentence: The sentencing court gave him a 2 year break at the time he was sentenced for his "sincere confession" and early termination of the trial through his guilty plea. That apparently seals his eligibility for release after serving 1/3 of his sentence, although there's no guarantee he will get it.

I wonder how many people realize Joran Van der Sloot has never been charged with murdering Natalee Holloway -- either in Aruba or the U.S. He was arrested and detained twice in Aruba for investigation of her murder, but released when there was insufficient evidence to charge him. For years, Ms. Holloway's mother was on TV night after night, blasting him as her daughter's killer and accusing him of hiding information. He became a pariah at age 17, and for the next five years, was branded, hounded and as his lawyer put it, lived with a bulls-eye on his back.

Joran is paying for Flores' murder with a 28 year sentence in a notoriously difficult prison. The guilt-mongering media and public, who apparently would only be satisfied if he had been sentenced to life plus cancer, will begrudge his getting married, as if he is isn't entitled to even a smidgeon of contentment while imprisoned. I have no problem with it.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I do not begrudge him (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by IndiDemGirl on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 03:37:57 PM EST
    his marriage.  I also do not believe he should be killed.  I am glad he is in jail and hope he stays there.

    I hope that his child never meets up with a person like Joran Van der Sloot when he or she grows up.  

    This kind of marriage (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 10:29:47 AM EST
    always baffles me. It's hard to believe that the young lady doesn't have better options.

    Ha (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 10:37:02 AM EST
    I had the same question so naturally enough I googled

    I can't say I have any deeper understanding but I liked this paragraph

    What follows is the story of her romance with Will, a former drug dealer imprisoned for murder. Friedman married Will after knowing him only a short time, because marriage was the only way they could see each other, and remained married to him for the final years of his incarceration. It was only after his parole, when he sank into depression, that they divorced.

    Only one word for me (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 11:40:26 AM EST
    I know this is a defense website but



    Will no one congratulate them? (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 12:18:53 PM EST
    LOL! (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Zorba on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 12:32:18 PM EST
    Go right ahead, Oc.
    I wonder where they're registered?     ;-)

    I wonder (none / 0) (#6)
    by Rumpole on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 02:05:29 PM EST
    how strong the case is for "extortion"? Was there not MORE than a hint of "entrapment" at the time?
    Subsequently details  were aired as part of a Dutch Tabloid "documentary" with Beth Twitty apparently teaming up with Dutch Tabloid journalist Peter De Vrise for a series of Dutch TV shows including the infamous confrontation of Joran by Beth at Castro Castro prison etc. It all smacks of ulterior motive and "set up" for the extortion and subsequent contamination of evidence, witnesses, potential Jurors perhaps?
    There was (and still is) a very vocal "Lynch Mob" in USA I wonder if Van Der Sloot could get a fair trial there.

    I love (none / 0) (#7)
    by Rumpole on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 02:09:27 PM EST
    the line:

    "The guilt-mongering media and public, who apparently would only be satisfied if he had been sentenced to life plus cancer...."