OLONGAPO CITY – The Olongapo City prosecutor’s office starts the premilinary hearing into the murder of Jennifer Laude
US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, the suspect in the killing of Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in Olongapo City, was a no-show of the murder case’s preliminary investigation on Tuesday at the Olongapo Hall of Justice, where family members of Laude were accompanied by their lawyer, Harry Roque, as well as Laude’s German fiancé, Marc Sueselbeck.
Pemberton was a suspect to the killing of Laude, 26, on October 11 at a motel in Olongapo City. The cause of Laude’s death was attributed to drowning. A room attendant discovered her lifeless and bruised in the bathroom, her face on the toilet bowl.
Pemberton was represented by his lawyers, led by Rowena Flores, who said the subpoena served on their client did not require his personal appearance at the preliminary hearing.
Aside from Pemberton, four other US Marines, who will serve as witnesses in the case, were also not around as they have already left the country.
Pemberton was among the 3,500 US soldiers who participated in the annual joint military training with Filipino counterparts in various locations in the Philippines under the Visiting Forces Agreement. The VFA was signed by Manila and Washington in 1998. H/T: Rappler