The murder trial of Joran van der Sloot, a central figure in the disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway, was postponed for five days by a judge in Peru today.
Update at 11:29 a.m. ET: A Peruvian judge has postponed the murder trial for Joran van der Sloot until Jan. 11.
Update at 11:20 a.m. ET: Van der Sloot entered the courtroom today in a blue blazer and faded blue jeans with a bulletproof vest beneath the jacket,the Associated Press reports. He sported a crew cut and wore a long-sleeved gray shirt.
His defense attorney, Jose Luis Jimenez, tells the AP that is a 70% chance Van der Sloot will plead guilty to killing Stephany Flores in Lima in 2010, which could help him get a reduced sentence.
Flores' father, Ricardo Flores, tells the AP today that the family would participate in the trial in hopes of ensuring that Van der Sloot is also accused of robbery in connection with the killing.
Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year prison sentence on murder and theft charges.
Jimenez has said he would seekto get a reduced charge by arguing that his client was in a state of emotional distress when he killed Flores. A lesser sentence would be from eight to 20 years in prison.
Police and Flores' family dispute Van der Sloot's version of her death. They say he was hard up for cash and knew the Peruvian business student had been winning at the casino.
"We hope that throughout this process our attorneys can demonstrate the true motives for the killing of my daughter," Ricardo Flores says, the AP reports.
Original post: Joran van der Sloot, a central figure in the disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway, has changed his defense strategy and is expected to plead guilty today in Peru to all charges in the killing of a Peruvian woman, his lawyer tells CNN.
The 24-year-old Dutchman is charged with "qualified murder" and simple robbery, in the death of 21-year-old Stephany Flores in Lima. The charge carries a 30-year sentence.
Before the change of plans, Van der Sloot had intended to admit killing Flores in her hotel room in May 2010, but to fight harsher charges that could bring more time in prison, his attorney, Luis Jimenez tells CNN.
Jimenez says the new strategy is for Van der Sloot to give a "sincere confession," which under Peruvian law can qualify him for a more lenient sentence, CNN reports.
Three judges will preside over the non-jury trial that opens today in Lima.
Police say Van der Sloot took Flores' money and bank cards from her wallet and fled to Chile, where he was arrested a few days later.
Van der Sloot was linked, but never charged, in the disappearance of Holloway, who vanished in 2005 while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba. She was last seen leaving a nightclub with Van der Sloot, but he has maintained he had nothing to do with her disappearance.
In June 2010, Van der Sloot was charged in the U.S. attempting to extort a million dollars from the Holloway family by promising to say where Natalee's body was.
He used a $25,000 advance to pay for a flight to Lima, where his fatal meeting with Stephany Flores took place, Radio Netherlands reports.