Trial begins in US Marine Philippines trans murder case

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A US Marine who has been charged with the murder of a transgender woman in the Philippines has gone on trial.

A not guilty plea was entered last month on behalf of the US marine charged with the murder of a transgender woman.

This comes after 26-year-old Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck was found strangled in October, naked with her head in a toilet near a US Navy Base.

US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton – who was one of hundreds of US marines in the area for a training exercise – was formally charged of the woman’s murder a few days later.

Pemberton appeared at the Olongapo court earlier this week wearing handcuffs.

He faces life in prison if found guilty of murder,

State prosecutor Emilie de los Santos told reporters: “We will prove the elements of murder”, referring to “treachery, abuse of superior strength and cruelty” in the attack.

Several witnesses have sinec been called forward including a hotel worker, who identified Pemberton as being with Laude on the day she was killed.

Laude’s mother Julita said she would not drop the case against Pemberton, even if she were offered a million dollars.

She said: “Just because we are poor doesn’t mean we can’t fight for justice.”