PNP expert: Laude strangled, drowned
OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines—A police pathologist testified in court on Monday that slain transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude was strangled and drowned inside the bathroom of a motel room, during the continuation of the murder trial of US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton.
Dr. Maritess Ombao, Philippine National Police medico legal officer and pathologist, said that Laude died due to asphyxia by drowning, citing tissue samples she had examined during the autopsy, said lawyer Charlaine Latorre, counsel of the Laude family.
Reporters are barred from covering the trial in the regional trial court here and have been relying on details provided by the Laude family’s lawyers.
Latorre said Dr. Reynaldo Dave, Central Luzon police medico legal officer based in Camp Olivas, Pampanga, led the autopsy.
“She (Ombao) was the one who concluded that [the] cause of death was asphyxia by drowning and strangulation,” Latorre said.
Witnesses, including Laude’s friend “Barbie,” earlier testified that Laude and Pemberton had checked into Celzone Lodge on Magsaysay Drive on the night of Oct. 11. Laude was found dead after Pemberton had left the room.
An autopsy report released on Oct. 17 said Laude had drowned when her head was forced into the toilet bowl.
The report also showed that Laude was beaten before she was killed as shown by the bruises and blood clots on her scalp, chest, arms and legs.
Since the trial began on March 23, the prosecution has presented 13 of its more than 30 witnesses.–Allan Macatuno
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