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OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines – US experts who testified at the murder trial of US Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton told the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court that evidence found at the crime scene matched samples obtained from the suspect.
Jessica LeCroy, a latent print examiner of the US Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL), told the court on Monday, June 22, that Pemberton’s fingerprint matched the one lifted from a condom wrapper recovered from the motel room where Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude was found dead in October 2014.
Derek Dorrien, another USACIL forensic expert, testified that the “chemical compound” or lubricant found in the condom matched with the lubricant found on the penis of Pemberton, and in Laude’s anus.
Dr George Jackson, a toxicologist of the US Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES), said Laude’s blood samples tested negative for either toxins or illegal drugs, contradicting earlier allegations that Laude was a drug user.
Jackson told the court that he took samples of Laude’s blood and brought them to Singapore for alcohol and drug tests, which turned out negative.
In May, US Marine Lance Corporal Jairn Michael Rose testified that his buddy, Pemberton, told him in October that he might have choked to death a transgender. He was with Pemberton on the night of the murder. (READ: US Marine: Pemberton said he ‘may have killed a he-she’)
Special Agent Philip Boyd of the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service testified on the procedural search conducted on the personal belongings of Lance Corporals Rose, Bennett Eric Dahl, Daniel Fabian Pulido and Pemberton.
At the resumption of the trial on June 30, the prosecution is expected to present its last witness.
Pemberton, 19, was on shore leave with his marine buddies when he met Laude at the Ambyanz Nightlife Bar on Magsaysay Avenue. They were seen later checking in at the nearby Celzone Lodge, where Laude’s lifeles body was discovered hours later.
Pemberton is currently detained at a US facility inside the Armed Forces headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. – Rappler.com