OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines — A Philippine judge has reduced the sentence of a U.S. Marine who was convicted of killing a transgender woman.
The Philippine Star reported that Judge Roline Jines-Jabalde of the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 74 on March 29 reduced Lance Cpl. Joseph Pemberton’s sentence from 12 to 10 years in prison. The newspaper said that the court rejected his appeal of his conviction.
A court late last year found Pemberton guilty of killing Jennifer Laude in 2014.
Prosecutors contend that Pemberton met Laude at a nightclub while his ship was docked at the Subic Bay Freeport, which is adjacent to Olongapo City on the Philippines main island of Luzon. The court convicted him of strangling Laude in a motel room and forcing her head into a toilet bowl.
Laude’s death sparked outrage among Philippine LGBT rights advocates. It also highlighted opposition to the U.S. military presence in the island archipelago.