Court upholds conviction of US Marine jailed for killing trans woman
A court in the Philippines has upheld a jail sentence for a US Marine found guilty of killing a trans woman.
Joseph Scott Pemberton was back in 2015 found guilty of homicide for killing Filipina trans woman Jennifer Laude, avoiding a murder charge.
The Lance Corporal had been charged with the murder of Laude, who was found dead in Olongapo City in October 2014, and claimed he had acted in self defence when he killed Laude.
The killing took place near a former US naval base north of Manila.
Ruling this week, an appeals court upheld the jailing of Pemberton for six to 10 years, and he remains in custody at the military headquarters in Manila.
The appeal court ruled: “The only reason why he attacked Laude was that he was furious at him for pretending to be a woman, nothing more, nothing less.”
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 10 years.
He was expected to serve at least six years of the sentence.
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But his lawyer, Rowena Garcia-Flores, has said that they will now appeal the case to the Supreme Court in the Philippines.
According to Pemberton’s defence lawyers, Laude was still alive when the Lance Corporal left the hotel.
They argue that evidence which could prove Pemberton’s innocence involving other people had been set aside.
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 in 2014.
The deal allows the US military to use Philippine bases for storage of supplies for operations relating to maritime security.