MANILA – During last Tuesday’s hearing on slain Filipino transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, US Marine Lance Cpl. Jairn Michael Rose testified at the Olongapo regional trial court that his shipmate and companion US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton admitted that he might have killed a ‘he or a she.’
Rose recalled that Pemberton made the confession when they returned to their ship after they went bar hopping as part of their ‘liberty activities’ in Olongapo City, Philippines, last year.
In Rose’s sworn affidavit, he reiterated the conversation that happened the night Pemberton admitted his deed. The latter approached him and said, ‘I think I may have killed a he or a she.’
Pemberton also relayed to Rose the full description of what happened between him and Laude in the hotel room of Celzone Lodge motel. He said that it was only later on that he found out Laude was a transgender and it angered him. He also admitted choking Laude and dragging her into the bathroom.
Before the night ended, Pemborton called his parents to ask for advice then went to sleep. Rose, for his part, reported to US Marine Sgt. Christopher Miller what Pemberton confessed.
After Rose’s testimony, he was asked why he did so when he was a friend of the suspect. Rose then said that he needed to tell the truth as ordered by the US Marines’ honor system.
When it was Miller’s turn to the witness stand, he said that Rose went back to the ship with two other marines after their ‘liberty time.’ They were, however, not with Pemberton when they came back.
Shortly before the ‘shore leave,’ Pemberton boarded the ship. Miller was already asleep when Rose woke him up for a ‘serious matter.’
Miller then asked Pemberton about the incident but the latter could no longer say anything.
Since the media was not allowed to cover the hearing, the aforementioned information from the witnesses were disclosed by Laude family’s lead counsel lawyer Harry Roque. Pemberton’s lawyer, on the other hand, refused to give comments and details since the start of the proceedings.
Rose’ s testimony jibed with Laude’s autopsy report which stated that the victim’s body bore signs of being punched and choked before dying by drowning.
Laude’s family, for their part, were satisfied with the testimonies.
“Even though they are friends, they are only telling the truth. I appreciate that very much,” Jennifer’s sister Marilou Laude she said.