(LIMA, Peru) — Joran van der Sloot, the Dutch man suspected in the murder of American teenager Natalee Holloway, is planning a June wedding behind bars.
Van der Sloot, in a Peruvian prison for the murder of a woman, is going to marry his girlfriend Leydi Figueroa Uceda sometime in June, according to Maximo Altez, van der Sloot’s lawyer.
The couple have known each other since early 2011 when Uceda was visiting someone else at the Castro Castro Prison where van der Sloot was then being held awaiting trial. Since then van der Sloot, 26, has been convicted of the murder of Peruvian woman Stephany Flores and sentenced to 28 years. An appeal of that sentence on technical grounds is currently being heard by Peru’s Supreme Court.
Altez told ABC News that he is awaiting confirmation from the prison authorities for the ceremony to be held inside the Piedras Gordas prison where van der Sloot is currently incarcerated. Rumors spread a year ago that a child that Uceda gave birth to a child that was fathered by van der Sloot, which Altez says is untrue.
Altez has hopes that his appeal, based on a series of technicalities in the initial interrogations and the extradition of van der Sloot from Chile, will be able to free van der Sloot.
Van der Sloot is also a suspect in the May 2005 murder of Holloway in Aruba. Holloway vanished during a senior class trip and her body has never been found.
“Joran’s whole attitude has changed since he met Leydi,” said Altez. “He was moping and bad humored all the time, but now he is more hopeful. He wants to get married and reorganize his life. He sees himself as a changed person.”
Numerous attempts to reach Uceda were unsuccessful.
Peruvian prison officials were unavailable for comment, but local journalists say jailhouse weddings are quite common in the country. Piedras Gordas is a large and fairly modern maximum security prison facility located about one hour north of capital city Lima.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Andreas Preuss, CNN