Case Timeline of the Murder of Jennifer Laude
October 11, 2014
- Jennifer Laude, 26, meets Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, 19, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Battalion-9th Marines of the West Pacific Express, at Ambyanz Disco bar on Magsaysay Drive in Olongapo City. Laude is accompanied by her friend, Barbie Gelviro.
- Laude, Pemberton, and Gelviro leave Ambyanz for a motel across the street. The three enter the Celzone Lodge at approximately 11:05pm. Elias Gallamos, the cashier ,assigns them room number 1.
- Laude, Pemberton, and Gelviro enter room number 1, then after several minutes Gelviro leaves to another room, leaving Laude and Pemberton alone.
- Approximately 30 minutes later, Pemberton exits the motel room leaving the door slightly ajar.
- Fifteen minutes later, Elias enters room number 1 to discover Laude dead — naked, wrapped in a bedsheet with her head submerged in the motel room’s toilet bowl.
October 15, 2014
- Marilou Laude, Jennifer’s sister, files a murder complaint against Pemberton, who reportedly remains in Subic, Olongapo City.
October 17, 2014
- The Philippine National Police (PNP) and Regional Crime Laboratory Office officially releases a report confirming that Laude died due to asphyxia.
- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) delivers a subpoena for Pemberton to the U.S. Embassy in Manila. Pemberton reportedly remains on board the USS Peleliu, the ship where his group was assigned to, which was docked at the Subic Bay Port.
December 15, 2014
- The Olongapo City Prosecutor’s Office of the Philippine Department of Justice finds probable cause to charge Pemberton with murder.
- The prosecutor decides to pursue murder charges because of the “presence of treachery, cruelty, and abuse of superior strength.”
- Pemberton appeals the prosecutor’s decision to the Secretary of Justice, but that appeal is denied.
February 23, 2015
- Pemberton is brought to court in Olongapo and the court enters a not-guilty plea on his behalf.
March 16, 2015
- The murder trial begins. Under the Visiting Forces Agreement, the local courts have one year to complete any legal proceedings.
June 30, 2015
- Pemberton admits in court to fighting with Laude, but not to killing her. He claims he acted in self-defense, after he discovered “it was a man” who was performing a sexual act on him.
December 1, 2015
- The Olongapo Regional Trial Court finds Pemberton guilty of homicide with two mitigating circumstances in the death of Laude and sentenced him to 6 to 12 years in jail. The court says, “The killing of Laude amounted only to homicide” and does not meet the standards for murder.
- Laude’s mother, Julita Laude, is not happy, saying she believes Pemberton is guilty of murder. Still, she added, “But the important thing is he will be jailed. My child’s life is not wasted.”
January 6, 2016
- Pemberton’s legal team files a motion for reconsideration before the same trial court- the RTC Olongapo, asking the court to reconsider the guilty verdict.
- A separate motion is also filed to reduce the penalty, should the guilty verdict be sustained.
April 3, 2016
- The appellate court’s Special Sixteenth Division denies Pemberton’s appeal for a reversal of his conviction by the Olongapo City RTC “for lack of merit.”
- The appellate court rules that “the conviction of Pemberton for homicide is undeniable.”
April 7, 2016
- Pemberton files an appeal to the Court of Appeals.
April 10, 2017
- Finding US Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton’s defense “more imaginary than real,” the Court of Appeals refuses to reverse his guilty verdict.
- According to the Court of Appeals, Pemberton “unabashedly plunged” Laude’s head in the toilet and “never thought of Laude as a human being, but as fecal matter due to her sexual orientation.”
April 26, 2017
- Pemberton files his motion for reconsideration 23 days after the appellate court upheld his conviction by the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 74.
- This is Pemberton’s last chance before he must take his case to the Supreme Court.