OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines – State prosecutors on Wednesday, November 5, conducted an ocular inspection of the crime scene where transgender Filipino woman Jennifer Laude was found dead last month.
Laude’s family, lawyers of both camps, and Olongapo City prosecutor Emilie Fe de los Santos first visited Ambyanz Disco Bar along Magsaysay Drive around 10 am, where Laude and US Private First Class Joseph Scott were first seen on October 11, the night of the murder.
Witnesses said Laude and Pemberton proceeded to the nearby Celzone Lodge – the next leg of the ocular inspection – where the lodge’s cashier found Laude slumped lifeless on the bathroom floor. Police later said she died by drowning.
The ocular inspection at Ambyanz took more than an hour. Speaking to reporters after the inspection, De los Santos said the prosecution team was able to establish details of the witnesses’ testimonies.
De los Santos said they were able to study the bar’s lighting system, the size of the place, and whether or not a person could be clearly identified when viewed from a certain distance.
But she refused to say how these would impact the preliminary investigation.
“Nabigyan namin ng buhay kung gaano katama ang sinasabi ng mga testigo. Pero kung paano ito makakatulong sa kaso, hindi ko muna puwedeng sabihin (We checked the veracity of the witnesses’ testimonies. But I cannot say for now how it would help the case),” De los Santos said.
The prosecutors were set to head to Celzone Lodge for the second part of the ocular inspection.
The inspection is part of preliminary investigations to determine if there is enough prima facie evidence to file a case against the 19-year-old Pemberton. He is currently detained in Camp Aguinaldo pending investigation proceedings.
The US soldier had waived his right to reply to the murder complaint against him when he did not enter a counter affidavit during the two previous preliminary hearings. – Rappler.com
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