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Not guilty plea entered for US marine charged for murder of trans woman

Joseph McCormick February 23, 2015
Jennifer Laude Philippines

Jennifer Laude, who was strangled to death by the US marine.

A not guilty plea has been entered in the Philippines on behalf of the US marine charged with the murder of a transgender woman.

This comes after 26-year-old Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck was found strangled in October, naked with her head in a toilet near a US Navy Base.

US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton – who was one of hundreds of US marines in the area for a training exercise – was formally charged of the woman’s murder a few days later.

Pemberton, accompanied by security escorts, refused to enter a plea to the charge of murder in the court in Olongapo, and journalists were barred from the courtroom, reports the Associated Press.

His lawyer last year filed a motion to “declare the absence of probable cause for murder or any other crime”.

The head of public prosecution later announced that a lawsuit had been filed, saying there was a strong case after a review of evidence.

A witness has claimed Laude’s body was discovered after she shared a room alone with Pemberton at Celzone lodge.

Pemberton failed to make an appearance during preliminary investigation in October.

Politicians in the Philippines are pushing for a tougher anti-discrimination law following the incident, which has also stirred anti-US sentiment.

 

More: Asia, Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck, joseph scott pemberton, Philippines, Philippines, Trans, Transgender, US

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