MANILA, Philippines – The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court announced US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton is guilty of homicide in the death of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude on Tuesday, December 1.
According to the report of Rappler, Pemberton has been sentenced to 6 to 12 years imprisonment, and was ordered to pay the heirs of Laude the following: P50,000 in civil damages; P4.32 million in loss of earning capacity; P155,250 reimbursement of wake burial and other funeral expenses; P50,000 in moral damages; and P30,000 in exemplary damages.
In October 2014, Laude was found dead in the bathroom of Celzone Lodge with her neck covered in injuries, her head leaning against the toilet bowl.
An autopsy report later said that Laude died by asphyxiation due to drowning and strangulation.
According to witnesses, Laude was last seen checking in at the motel with Pemberton. The two had met at a nearby bar, where Pemberton was spending the night with fellow servicemen from the USS Peleliu, after participating in US-Philippines joint military exercises in Subic.
Later on, Pemberton admitted strangling Laude but claimed it was in “self defense.”
He is currently detained at a US facility inside Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City and will be sent to New Bilibid Prisons.