Joran van der Sloot pleaded guilty to murder on Wednesday and is slated to be sentenced Friday.
Van der Sloot was on trial for the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old woman in Peru. He was also the main suspect in the Natalee Holloway disappearance. Holloway disappeared in Aruba while on a high school graduation trip with her Alabama classmates.
Van der Sloot, who grew up in Aruba, pleaded guilty to killing Stephany Flores, who he met in a casino in Lima Peru. Flores was killed exactly five years after Holloway disappeared.
"Yes, I want to plead guilty. I wanted from the first moment to confess sincerely," van der Sloot told the court. "I truly am sorry for this act. I feel very bad."
His pleading guilty is an attempt to receive a lighter sentence, according to reports. Van der Sloot faces up to 30 years in jail when the three-judge panel issues a sentence on Friday.
Van der Sloot’s defense attorneys argued that he killed Flores after suffering "extreme psychological trauma" from the ongoing Holloway investigation.
Van der Sloot confessed to killing Flores after she allegedly found incriminating evidence on his laptop, which linked him to Holloway’s disappearance.
His lawyers argued for a lighter sentence because of van der Sloot’s alleged post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Prosecutors in the case painted a different picture – one of a cold-blooded killer.
Prosecutors maintain that van der Sloot beat and then strangled Flores in his hotel room to rob her after it was rumored she won a sizable amount of money in a casino.
It is unclear how the court may rule on Friday.
In Peruvian law, murder is not a guaranteed sentence of a specific length. Crimes of passion carry a much lighter sentence than murders motivated by robbery.
Van der Sloot could potentially receive a sentence of fewer than 10 years in jail.