EXCLUSIVE: Murder Suspect Joran Van der Sloot "Has Gone Down A Very Disturbing Path" Says His Ex-Lawyer

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Jun. 4 2010, Published 9:07 a.m. ET

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Murder suspect Joran Van der Sloot is not the same man he was two years ago, according to his ex-lawyer.

In an exclusive interview with, Joe Tacopina – who represented the Dutch national in the Natalee Holloway case - claims the former student’s life has been turned upside down.

First Photos of Joran Van der Sloot In Custody

“At this stage I wouldn’t agree to be his attorney because the Joran of today has gone down a very disturbing path in life,” he said.

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“I met and knew Joran four and a half years ago and he was overwhelmed by the media. The kid I knew back then would not have committed an act of violence.

“The only reason I got involved in the case is because we did a two month investigation and believed he had no involvement in the murder or disappearance in Aruba.

“However his behavior over the last two and a half years has made me believe he is not the same person I knew."

Breaking News

Natalee Holloway Murder Suspect Arrested

As has previously reported, Van der Sloot has been arrested on suspicion of Stephany Flores' murder, after her body was found in a hotel room in Peru. But Tacopina is making no rash judgements against him.

“It is too early to make a decision about his guilt or innocence,” said Tacopina – who is described as one of New Yorks’ top criminal defense attorneys.

“If he is guilty of this crime it would rightly turn the first case on its face, but that doesn’t change the evidence.

“I believe the case in Peru has nothing to do with the case in Aruba.

VIDEO: Natalie Holloway Suspect On The Run After Linked To Second Murder

“This is an overwhelming tragedy for all the families involved.”



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