Source: Van der Sloot lied about laptop use in killing
Van der Sloot has been charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the case of 21-year-old Stephany Flores. Authorities found Flores' body in a Lima hotel room registered to him last year.
Surveillance video from the hotel shows Van der Sloot and Flores entering the hotel room together around 5 a.m. on Sunday, May 30. He is seen leaving by himself some three hours later.
Police have said that Van der Sloot admitted he attacked Flores on May 30 after she read an e-mail on his computer connecting him to the Holloway case.
But, according to an analysis of that computer, it was turned off between Saturday, May 29 around 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 30 around noon, a source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told In Session.
A police official, meanwhile, said the computer was active, but that nothing done or received during the time period in question would suggest Flores saw information linking Van der Sloot to Holloway. The official, connected to the case, was not authorized to speak publicly about it.
Van der Sloot's attorney, Maximo Altez, said the laptop analysis does not change his defense. His client attacked Flores after she found something on his computer that tied him to Holloway, he said. "The police can't determine the exact time when Stephany was killed. She was in the room for three days ... Joran didn't mean to kill this woman," said Altez.
Van de Sloot is perhaps best known as the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Holloway in Aruba. He was arrested twice in connection with the case, but was not charged.
Investigators found some files related to the Holloway case on Van der Sloot's computer, but many of them were deleted, the source said.
After killing Flores, police say, Van der Sloot took money and bank cards from her wallet and fled to Chile, where he was arrested June 3. He was returned the next day to Peru and is being held at the Miguel Castro Castro prison in Lima.
He could face a minimum of 15 years in prison if found guilty of first-degree murder. If convicted on the lesser charge of manslaughter, he could face up to five years in prison.
Altez recently supplied "In Session" with a copy of a motion he filed last year in support of the manslaughter charge.
Van der Sloot also faces federal wire fraud and extortion charges in the United States, where prosecutors say he demanded more than $250,000 from Holloway's family in return for disclosing the location of her body.
Is van der Sloot a cold blooded killer?
Van der Sloot and his attorney claim Flores, a 21 year old Peruvian student van der Sloot met at a poker tournament, died when the Dutchman went into a fit of rage. Van der Sloot has admitted killing Flores but is claiming it was a crime of passion after she found material relating to Natalee Holloway on his laptop.
Flores body was found in a Lima hotel room five years to the day of Natalee Holloway's disappearance on a school trip to Aruba. She was last seen leaving a bar with van der Sloot.
But Peruvian authorities say a forensic examination of that laptop shows a different story than that told by van der Sloot. Their version conjures up a macabre scene of van der Sloot playing online poker with a corpse in his room while he plotted his escape.
According to investigators, the Natalee information was accessed hours before the presumed time of death of Flores. This would seem to debunk his claim that she died following an angry fight concerning Natalee's disappearance.
In fact, Peruvian investigators claim there was activity on more than one poker website well after the Natalee-related information was accessed. They say van der Sloot also searched for information on what near by countries might not have extradition treaties with Peru and checked bus schedules to neighboring Chile. He was arrested in Chile days later.
The difference in the two timelines is critical. Van der Sloot's claim of a crime of passion could result in a sentence of as little as three years. Peruvian prosecutors are calling the killing premeditated and cold blooded and are looking at a sentence of up to thirty years.