MANILA, Philippines - An Olongapo court on Tuesday ruled that US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton is guilty of homicide and not murder over the killing of transgender woman Jennifer Laude.
Pemberton will face imprisonment from six to 12 years.
Regional Trial Court Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde also ordered Pemberton to pay P50,000 as civil indemnity and P4.32 million to Laude's family as damages for loss of earning capacity.
The accused was also ordered to pay P155,255 as reimbursement for the wake and burial of the victim, P50,000 for moral damages and P30,000 for exemplary damages.
The court noted that under the Visiting Forces Agreement between the United States and the Philippines, the confinement or detention of a US personnel shall be carried out in facilities agreed on by authorities from both countries.
The US Embassy will have to confirm first with the Department of Foreign Affairs where Pemberton will be detained.
Pemberton will be temporarily committed to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.
However, one of the Laude family's lawyers claimed that the US refuses to turn Pemberton over to Philippine authorities.
"Hindi pumapayag i-give ng mga Amerikano si Pemberton," lawyer Harry Roque said in a press conference.
The camp of Laude's family also expressed their discontent over the court's decision.
"This is not complete justice but we have to recognize that there is victory here," lawyer Virgie Suarez said.
The US Marine was charged with murder for killing Laude at the Celzone Lodge in Olongapo City in October last year.
Pemberton has been detained in a US facility at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City since the court issued a warrant for his arrest in December last year.
Source: Dec 1 Philstar