US Marine found guilty of murdering trans woman
A US Marine accused of killing a transgender woman has been found guilty and sentenced to 12 years in jail.
Joseph Scott Pemberton was on Tuesday found guilty of killing Filipina trans woman Jennifer Laude.
The Lance Corporal was charged with the murder of Laude, who was found dead in Olongapo City last October.
The murder took place near a former US naval base north of Manila.
A reading of the 38-page verdict took three hours.
Pemberton, found guilty of homicide, was ordered to pay $85,000 in damages to Laude’s family, in addition to his prison sentence of up to 12 years.
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He is expected to serve at least six years of the sentence.
A lawyer for Laude’s family told reporters: “Pemberton told the court he thought Laude just lost consciousness after he strangled her, which he considered an act of self-defence.”
According to Pemberton’s defence lawyers, Laude was still alive when the Lance Corporal left the hotel.
Many speculated that the verdict of the trial could affect relations between the Philippines and the US.
The two countries signed a defence cooperation deal last year.
The deal allows the US military to use Philippine bases for storage of supplies for operations relating to maritime security.