Stephen M. Silverman
June 11, 2010 12:55 PM

It’s official: Joran van der Sloot on Friday was charged with murder in the fatal beating of Lima, Peru, business student resident Stephany Flores, CBS and the Associated Press report.

The Dutch playboy, 22, has been placed in a penitentiary pending trial, charged with murder and robbery. Peruvian judge Juan Buendia noted that van der Sloot acted with “ferocity and great cruelty.”

Late Monday this week, van der sloot reportedly admitted to Peruvian police that he killed Stephany Flores, 21, in a Lima hotel room last month, five years to the day that American teen Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba.

RELATED: Joran van der Sloot: Portrait of a Killer

Van Der Sloot, long a person of interest in the Holloway case, on Thursday claimed he would show Aruba authorities to where he says Holloway’s body could be found.

In the case of Flores, police say van der Sloot smashed in the face of the 21-year-old, whom he met while he was at the poker tables of a Lima casino on May 30. They say he took her to his hotel room, where he beat and strangled her, broke her neck and emptied her wallet.

Police call van der Sloot’s confession to killing Flores remarkably thorough, though his attorney, Maximo Altez, said Thursday that his client’s confession was void given that it was made before a defense lawyer who was appointed by police.

The chief of Peru’s criminal police, Gen. Cesar Guardia, takes issue with Altez’s argument, saying that not only did his government-appointed defense attorney properly represent van der Sloot, but his translator during his questioning was assigned by the Dutch Embassy.

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