Pemberton takes witness stand, admits choking Laude

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Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton of the U.S. Marines (middle) being escorted into court for his trial for the murder of Filipina transgender Jennifer Laude.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — It was Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton’s turn to tell his tale.

For the first time, he took the witness stand on Monday (August 24) as part of his defense for the proceedings on Filipina transgender Jennifer Laude’s murder case at the Olongapo Regional Trial Court.

According to Laude family's legal counsel Atty. Harry Roque, Pemberton admitted to some important facts.

Pemberton admitted that he had oral sex with Laude.

It was when Pemberton and Laude were about to have ‘contact’ that Pemberton discovered that Laude was not biologically female and that Laude still had male genitalia.

Pemberton then pushed Laude out of the bed. At this point Laude slapped Pemberton, which prompted the U.S. marine to punch Laude and choke her before dragging her to the restroom.

Pemberton insisted that his acts were all a matter of self-defense.

Pemberton further testified that he dragged Laude's body into the bathroom of their motel room in an attempt to revive her with water.

Based on the autopsy reports, Laude's cause of death is strangulation and asphyxiation due to drowning.

Jennifer's mother, Julita Laude, became emotional listening to Pemberton's testimony — especially during the part when Pemberton narrated that he left Jennifer unconscious in the motel.

According to Roque, Pemberton also admitted that Barbie — one of the prosecution’s witnesses — was with Jennifer during the night of the incident.

On Tuesday (August 25), the defense will present their last witness, well-known forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun.

The defense is also expected to rest their case after they present their last witness.

CNN Philippines’ Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.