A US Marine accused of killing a 26-year-old transgender Filipina woman was turned over to Philippine authorities by the US military on Wednesday in a case that has brought long-simmering tensions between the two countries to a boil.
Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton is accused of murdering Jennifer Laude, formerly known as Jeffrey, by drowning her in a motel bathroom toilet on October 11 after a bilateral training session near a former US naval base at Subic Bay, about 50 miles northwest of Manila.
The gruesome killing comes at a delicate moment for US-Philippine relations. There is political pressure in the Philippines for the former US colony to deny the US access to military bases.