- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The U.S. military turned over a Marine, who was suspected of brutally killing a transgender Filipino, to the Philippine military on Wednesday, putting to end a long-simmering dispute between the two governments.

Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton had been held on board the USS Peleliu at the Subic Bay Freeport, The Associated Press reported. The vessel is located just 50 miles from Manila, where he was accused of killing Jennifer Laude, formerly named Jeffrey, age 26, AP said.

The Marine was transferred to Philippine military officials by helicopter as part of an agreement, Philippine military chief of staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said during a news conference, AP reported.

“They agreed to put him in a facility which will pass U.S. custodial standards,” Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said, AP reported. “We’re happy with this because he’s a suspect in a crime that was committed in our country.”

Witnesses say Pfc. Pemberton met Laude at a disco bar on Oct. 11 in the city of Olongapo, and the two then went to a hotel room. The victim was later found drowned in the hotel room’s toilet bowl, police Chief Inspector Gil Domingo said, AP reported.

Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier this week that the United States doesn’t want special treatment in the case, but rather a protection of Pfc. Pemberton’s rights.

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