The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court on Tuesday found US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton guilty of homicide in the death of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude in October last year.
Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde of Olongapo RTC Branch 74 sentenced Pemberton to 6 to 12 years imprisonment. He will be temporarily committed to the National Bilibid Prison in Muntilupa City.
The US marine was also 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.
“We would like to thank everybody. We were not content with the 6 to 12 years imprisonment. But in a way, we are happy that he will be committed to the National Bilibid Prison,” Julita, mother of the transgender woman Jennifer, said.
Jennifer’s sister Malou also expressed dismay over the decision of homicide but said she was pleased that Pemberton will be committed to the National Bilibid Prisons.
The 26-year-old 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 after participating in US-Philippines joint military exercises in Subic Bay. (PNA / Ruben A. Veloria)