US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton withdrew his petition for on his conviction filed in the Supreme Court, two months before the sixth death anniversary of transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude.
Pemberton, in a June 2 notice, filed an urgent motion for leave to withdraw his petition since he already “accepted” and “recognized” that the court’s conviction would become final and executory.
In 2017, the Court of Appeals rejected Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton’s claim of self-defense in killing Jennifer Laude in a hotel room in Olongapo City after they met in a bar in October 2014.
The killing sparked widespread anger across the Philippines and bolstered calls for an end to the US military presence in the country.
Pemberton had claimed Laude molested him in the motel room by pretending to be a woman, and he was forced to “defend his dignity.” He said the violence began when Laude slapped him after he confronted her for pretending to be a woman. However, he denied that he had any intention to kill her.
In the Court of Appeals decision handed down by Associate Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison, it was noted that physical evidence contradicted Pemberton’s claims.
Pemberton withdraws SC petition to review conviction
The court also upheld the order for Pemberton to pay Laude’s family more than $90,000 compensation.
However, his legal counsel, Rowena Garcia-Flores, had filed a motion that the CA should reconsider its decision.
The basis for this fresh appeal is that the CA committed a “grave error in exempting the prosecution from proving that the crime of homicide was committed beyond reasonable doubt and shifting the burden on Pemberton to prove his innocence.”
However, the Court of Appeals again threw Pemberton’s second motion for reconsideration, and the CA upheld a previous decision to uphold the ten-year sentence.
In junking his appeal, the CA said Pemberton only rehashed the arguments he had previously presented, such as self-defense.
The CA had also ordered Pemberton to pay Laude’s heirs 4.32 million pesos in lost earnings, as well as Laude’s autopsy, wake, and burial expenses.
The marine’s counsel then elevated their petition to the Supreme Court.