US Marine held guilty of killing Filipino transgender

Manila, Dec 1 (IANS) A Philippines court on Tuesday found a US Marine guilty of homicide in the killing of a Filipino transgender last year, the media reported.

Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde, in her 60-page decision, sentenced Joseph Scott Pemberton to 6-12 years in prison for 26-year-old Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude’s murder, The Manila Times reported.

“Pemberton, to exclusion of all others, is responsible for the killing of Laude,” she said.

The court said Laude died of asphyxia by drowning, adding this was consistent with the injuries sustained by the deceased.

Laude, was found dead inside the Celzone Lounge in Olongapo City on October 11, 2014.

Pemberton was charged with murder by the Olongapo Prosecutor’s Office and has since been detained at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City under joint US and Philippines security.

In August, Pemberton admitted strangling Laude after he discovered he was a transgender. He said he was still alive when he left him.

The court, however, added that Pemberton did not plan to kill Laude so he should be accorded the benefit of the mitigating circumstance of intoxication.

The court ordered the US Marine to pay damages amounting to 100,000 pesos ($6,047) to Laude’s family, 50,000 pesos ($3,022) for civil damages, 50,000 pesos for loss of earning capacity and 155,250 pesos ($9,386) for the transgender’s burial expenses.

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