MANILA (UPDATED) - The lawyer for the family of slain transgender Jennifer Laude revealed Friday the DNA samples taken from used condoms found in the room where Laude was found dead do not match that of the suspect's, US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, nor Laude's.
"It simply means these condoms were not actually used by Jennifer and Pemberton. It has nothing to do with the murder," lawyer Virgie Suarez said in an ANC interview.
"The fact that it was not used or they did not have sex has nothing to do with the fact that Jennifer was murdered," she added.
Suarez added that this development should not be viewed as an impediment in the case, as there are other specimens being tested.
"There is no such conclusion for the other specimens," she said.
Laude, a transgender, and Pemberton were seen entering a motel room on October 11. Minutes later, Laude was found dead, his body leaning on the toilet bowl.
Forensics determined Laude died of asphyxia by drowning. He also had strangulation marks.
A murder complaint has been filed against Pemberton. He is now detained in Camp Aguinaldo under the custody of the United States.
State prosecutors are set to release the results of their preliminary investigation by December 15.
Suarez said they are confident that a case will be finally filed against Pemberton after December 15.
"I am certain that with the evidence, with the peer identification of Barbie kay Pemberton, with all the testimonial evidence of the other witnesses, I am certain that the finding of probable cause for murder will be released by December 15. Together with the finding of probable cause for murder, there should be a warrant of arrest," she said.
"That will again put our country in a test, whether or not with the issuance of warrant of arrest, finally Pemberton will be arrested, or will be put under the custody of the Philippines," she added.
After the case is filed, it will have to be heard and decided within a one-year period, as is stipulated in the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
"If we don't finish the trial within one year, naku, medyo delikado 'yun dahil mapapawalang-sala na talaga si Pemberton," Suarez said.
Despite the time limit, Suarez is confident that the case will be resolved within the given period of time.
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