MANILA (Mabuhay) – US Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton admitted on Monday that he choked Jennifer Laude to death after learning that she was also a “man.”
Pemberton made the admission during the hearing on Laude’s murder at the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 74.
Pemberton strangled and dragged Laude after discovering that she was a transgender, Laude family lawyer Harry Roque told reporters.
In his testimony, Pemberton said that on Oct. 11, 2014, he went to the mall and several bars as part of his “liberty time.”
After going to several bars, he went back to the mall and later went to Ambyanz Resto Bar where he met “two women,” one whom was Laude.
He said Laude and the other unidentified woman went with him to Cellzone Lodge where one of the women performed oral sex on him.
After the woman left, Pemberton and Laude were left alone inside the hotel room, where Laude also began performed oral sex on him.
During the sex act, Pemberton said, he reached down between Laude’s legs and discovered that his sex partner had a penis.
According to Pemberton, he got angry – feeling that he was being raped by another man.
The American said he pushed Laude but the latter retaliated by slapping him.
Pemberton said he then choked Laude.
When he saw that she was no longer moving, he dragged her to the comfort room where he poured water on Laude in the hopes of reviving her.
Last May, Philippine National Police medico-legal officer and pathologist Dr. Maritess Ombao testified that Laude died due to strangulation and asphyxia by drowning.
Pemberton is accused of killing Laude, who was found dead in a bathroom of a motel in Olongapo City.
A bellboy identified Pemberton as the companion of Laude before her body was found.
The murder complaint was filed December last year.
Pemberton is currently detained at the JUSMAG facility inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. (MNS)