March 27, 2015 at 10:39 am EDT | by Staff reports
Marine goes on trial for trans murder
LGBT National Day of Outrage, Philippines, gay news, Joseph Scott Pemberton, Washington Blade

Philippine LGBT rights advocates on Oct. 25, 2014, took part in an “LGBT National Day of Outrage” protest in Quezon City, Philippines, to highlight ongoing outrage over Jennifer Laude’s murder. (Photo courtesy of Dindi Tan)

OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines — The trial of a U.S. Marine who allegedly killed a transgender Philippine woman began on March 23.

The Associated Press reported that U.S. security personnel escorted a handcuffed Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton into a courtroom in Olongapo City, which is northwest of the Philippine capital of Manila.

Prosecutors contend that Pemberton murdered Jennifer Laude, 26, after meeting at an Olongapo City nightclub on Oct. 11, 2014, while the USS Peleliu was docked at the nearby Subic Bay Freeport on the Philippines’ main island of Luzon.

Laude’s naked body was later found in a motel bathroom.

The AP reported the first person to testify during Pemberton’s trial was a hotel worker who identified him as the man seen with Laude shortly before she was found dead.

Laude’s death sparked widespread outrage among Philippine LGBT rights advocates.

Pemberton faces life in prison if found guilty of Laude’s murder.

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