CA affirms Pemberton's homicide conviction

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2017 04:13 PM

MANILA - The Court of Appeals has affirmed its earlier ruling convicting US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton for the killing of Filipino transgender Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude in October 2014.

The CA 16th Division junked Pemberton’s plea to reverse its April 3, 2017 decision convicting him of homicide, saying the US serviceman did not raise new arguments in his motion for reconsideration.

“[W]e maintain our ruling that his invocation of self-defense is an admission of the killing and of its authorship… Consequently, we reiterate that self-defense when invoked as a justifying circumstance implied the admission by the accused that he committed the criminal act,” the resolution read.

The Olongapo Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 74 sentenced Pemberton to 6 to 10 years imprisonment in December 2015.

Laude was last seen alive with Pemberton at Celzone Lodge in Olongapo City after they had drinks in a nearby bar.

In his appeal Pemberton argued he acted in self-defense after Laude allegedly slapped him when he discovered that Laude had male genitals.

The trial court ordered Pemberton to pay Laude’s heirs P50,000 as civil indemnity; P4,320,000 as damages for loss of earning capacity; P155,250 as reimbursement for the wake, burial, and other related expenses; P50,000 as moral damages; and P30,000 as exemplary damages.

In its April 2017 ruling, the CA modified this, ordering Pemberton to pay the heirs P75,000 as civil indemnity and P75,000 as moral damages. The trial court’s ruling awarding P4,320,000 as damages for loss of earning capacity, and P155,250 as reimbursement for wake, burial, and related expenses, were upheld.