OLONGAPO CITY: Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton on Monday admitted strangling Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in October last year but said he did it “in self defense.”
Pemberton, appearing at the Regional Trial Court Branch 74 as a witness for the defense, narrated to the court the circumstances that led to Laude’s killing.
Harry Roque, counsel of the Laude family, said the US serviceman told the court Laude was performing oral sex on him when he discovered that the latter had a penis.
Pemberton said he was shocked at the discovery and pushed back Laude, who fell from bed but got up and slapped him.
He said he retaliated by strangling Laude. When Laude stopped moving, Pemberton thought he lost consciousness and he dragged him to the bathroom to try to revive him.
He said he found no water in the bathroom so he decided to just leave him there.
Court sources say part of Pemberton’s testimony indicated he had oral sex twice in the room with another “woman,” one in stand up position and another lying down before he had oral sex with Laude.
Pemberton, 19, was on shore leave with some of his marine buddies from USS Peleliu after participating in the US-Philippines joint military exercises in Subic on Oct. 11, 2014.
He met Laude at the Ambyanz Nightlife Bar along Magsaysay Avenue and they checked in at the nearby Celzone Lodge.
Laude was found dead at the bathroom of the motel hours later.
A murder complaint was filed against Pemberton in December last year.
Pemberton is currently detained at a US facility inside Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.