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Pemberton files appeal to reverse conviction

7 January 2016 No CommentEmail This Post Email This Post
Members of ProGay and women's rights group in a rally to denounce the alleged government inaction on violence against women. After days of a thorough investigation, the suspect in her death, as US Marine, has been charged with murder. (MNS photo)

Members of ProGay and women’s rights group in a rally to denounce the alleged government inaction on violence against women. After days of a thorough investigation, the suspect in her death, as US Marine, has been charged with murder. (MNS photo)

The lawyer representing a US Marine found guilty of killing a transgender Filipina filed an appeal on Wednesday seeking to reverse his conviction.

Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was convicted of homicide last month by an Olongapo court in a case that reignited long-simmering anti-American sentiment in the country.

The American’s lawyer Rowena Garcia-Flores also filed a separate motion seeking a reduced sentence for the marine in the event that the acquittal is not granted.

“Of course, we want an acquittal but what is the likelihood the court will grant that?” she told AFP.

Pemberton met the transgender Filipina Jennifer Laude in October 2014 in a bar in Olongapo after the marine took part in a joint US-Philippine military exercise.

During the trial, the court heard that Pemberton and Laude agreed to have sex after meeting in Olongapo’s red light district, but that the drunken marine turned violent when he discovered Laude still had male genitals.

He acted out of “passion and obfuscation,” the court said, adding that “in the heat of passion, he arm-locked the deceased, and dunked [her] head in the toilet.”

Pemberton was sentenced to six to 12 years in jail and is being held in a cell in Camp Aguinaldo.

If Pemberton’s conviction is upheld, his attorney said the case could be raised to a higher court.

Pemberton’s homicide conviction is the first under a visiting forces agreement between the two countries signed in 1998, covering the legal liability of US troops taking part in military operations in the Philippines. (MNS)

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