Pemberton admits in latest testimony that he choked Jennifer Laude

But he says it was an act of self-defense.


( It wasn’t supposed to be anything deadly. Yes, he strangled her—but he didn’t mean to kill her. That was the defense of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton in his trial for the alleged murder of Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in October 2014.


During Pemberton’s defense at the Regional Trial Court Branch 74 of Olongapo City on Monday, he argued that he was deceived by Laude regarding her gender. His defense lawyer, Rowena Flores, told the Philippine Star that Pemberton was shocked upon knowing that he was having oral sex with a man which then led him to react in self-defense in a fit of “passion and obfuscation.” He said he pushed Laude away, who then allegedly slapped him, which led Pemberton to commit the choking.


Pemberton said that he attempted to revive Jennifer by dousing her with water from the toilet. He said he thought Laude lost consciousness and that he was just defending himself.


If found guilty, Pemberton will serve a prison term of 20 years to life. The verdict is expected to be released in September.

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