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U.S. Marine Admits to Drowning Transgender Woman After Finding Out She Was A Man

December 16, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
U.S. Marine Admits to Drowning Transgender Woman After Finding Out She Was A Man image courtesy of nymag.com

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Prosecutors in the Phillipines charged a U.S. Marine with murdering a transgender woman on Monday, saying the suspect acknowledged attacking the victim after he found out she was a man.

Prosecutor Emilie de los Santos said there was ‘probable cause’ that Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was arrested and detained, in connection with the October murder of Jennifer Laude, formerly known as Jeffrey, in a motel room where the body of Laude was discovered in Olongapo city, northwest of Manila.

Image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

Image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

Laude was strangled and drowned in a toilet bowl.

“It’s murder,’ de los Santos told reporters after filing the charge against the 19-year-old Pemberton before a regional court.
“It was aggravated by treachery, abuse of superior strength and cruelty.’

Evidence submitted by the prosecution include statements by Pemberton’s three Marine colleagues who went bar-hopping with him on Oct. 11 in Olongapo, a former liberty town, when the U.S. Navy was at the vast Subic Naval base, now a bustling commercial Freeport and recreation hub.

Pemberton and some of his friends later picked up women at a nightclub and checked in at nearby motels separately, and returned to their ship shortly after midnight.

Witnesses say they saw Pemberton check in with Laude at the motel and was seen leaving shortly before the discovery of Laude’s body, prosecutors said in their statement to the court.

Marine Lance Corporal Jairn Michael Rose, who was with Pemberton that night, told authorities that the suspect later admitted back at their ship that he attacked the woman he was with by choking her after discovering that she was a man when she undressed, according to the prosecutors.

‘I think I killed a he/she,’ Pemberton allegedly told Rose.
Pemberton, who is a skilled boxer, allegedly stated he choked her from behind with his arm ‘for a couple of minutes’ until she stopped moving then dragged her into the bathroom, according to the prosecutors.

The new details has sparked condemnation by left-wing and transgender groups, which have labeled the attack a hate crime.

The case has put stress on the relationship between the allies irritant, however, tensions have eased after Pemberton’s after Washington agreed to move him from a U.S. warship to the Philippine military’s main camp in metropolitan Manila, where he remained under American custody with an outer ring of Filipino guards.

The Philippine government foreign affairs department issued a statement saying that it looks ‘forward to the full cooperation of the U.S. government in ensuring that justice is secured for Laude.”

From the Daily Mail

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