MANILA — The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the appeal of US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton on his conviction for the killing of transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in October 2014 in Olongapo City.
In its decision, the Court of Appeals Special 16th Division affirmed the ruling of Olongapo RTC Branch 74 finding Pemberton guilty of homicide.
He was sentenced 6 to 10 years in prison.
According to the appellate court, it was clear that Laude died from drowning after Pemberton shoved her head into the toilet bowl of the motel.
The CA also affirmed the damages award to Laude family including the 4.3 million pesos for the loss in earning capacity of the victim.
A lawyer for the Laude family said the ruling of the CA is expected since Pemberton’s arguments are mere rehash of what he already raised before the trial court.
“It’s a victory for the Laudes. It’s justice for the Laudes. It’s also a victory and justice for the Filipino people,” Atty. Virgie Suarez said.
But the lawyer also said they are still not satisfied with how Pemberton is being treated.
She said, for justice to be completed, the US marine should be committed to the national prison.
“Because Pemberton is not yet incarcerated at the National Bilibid Prison. He has air-conditioning unit. Him room is cozy. He’s comfortable,” said Atty. Suarez.
Pemberton is currently serving his sentence at a US facility inside Camp Aguinaldo. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue