MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine government prosecutor says a detained U.S. Marine has been charged with murder in the killing of a Filipino transgender.
On Dec. 1, 2014, protesters hang a rainbow banner from the foot bridge near the U.S. Embassy to demand justice for the Oct. 11, 2014, killing of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude at the former U.S. naval base of Subic northwest of Manila. (Image source: AP/Bullit Marquez)
Prosecutor Emily de los Santos said Monday there was "probable cause" that Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton killed Jennifer Laude, whose former name was Jeffrey, in a motel room, where the victim's body was found in October in Olongapo city, northwest of Manila. She had apparently been drowned in a toilet bowl.
U.S. Marines Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, a suspect in the gruesome killing of a transgender Filipino woman, wears a helmet as he arrives inside the compound of the Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. The Philippine military chief says Pemberton has been flown to the main Philippine military camp in the capital, easing a looming irritant with Washington over his custody, officials said. (Image source: AP/Aaron Favila)
The emotional case reignited a debate over custody of American military personnel accused of crimes. But the looming irritant between the treaty allies over Pemberton's custody was eased after Washington agreed to move him from a U.S. warship to a Philippine camp, where he remained under American custody with an outer ring of Filipino guards.