Marine accused of killing Filipino trans woman facing trial
The trial of the US marine accused of killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude is underway after the victim’s family rejected a plea bargain.
Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton is accused of murdering Laude.
The marine’s lawyers reportedly offered the victim’s family half a million dollars in exchange for reducing the charges against him to homicide.
But the family of the victim said they would not take money from the accused, and wanted him to pay for his crime with jail time.
Julita Cabillan, Laude's mother told reporters "No amount of money could pay for the years I spent raising my child. What they did to my child was gruesome. Just because we are poor doesn't mean we can't fight for justice.”
Prosecutors allege Pemberton murdered Jennifer Laude after discovering she was transgender
The prosecutors' first witness was a hotel clerk who testified to seeing Pemberton with the victim at the hotel in which she was found dead just hours before she was murdered.
If found guilty Pemberton will face 40 years in jail. He is still to enter a plea.