Have you been following the complicated (and incredibly sad) story of Jennifer Laude? Someone killed the trans woman in a Philippines hotel room earlier this month, and investigators believe it was U.S. soldier Joseph Scott Pemberton. He’s currently being detained at a military base while an investigation is underway.
The latest dramatic twist in the case: Laude’s fiancee, a German man named Marc Suselbeck, just flew to the Philippines and hopped a fence at the base so that he could confront Pemberton. Guards were able to stop him and send him away, but he then was later detained at the airport, at which point he fainted. Yikes.
Apparently Suselbeck and Laude have known each other for years, Suselbeck was aware that Laude was trans, and they planned to marry next year.
Now Laude is dead, and Suselbeck is stuck in the Philippines while authorities try to figure out what to do with him. They won’t arrest him, but they also won’t let him leave, calling him an “undesirable alien.”
This story just gets worse and worse, doesn’t it? Now get ready for this: Pemberton’s defense representatives want his sentence, if he’s found guilty, reduced from life to 20 years.
Details on the murder are a little sketchy at this point — all we know is that Laude was drowned, found face down in a hotel toilet with strangle marks on her neck. Awful, awful, awful, awful.