It was the first time Pemberton faced the court and his accusers since being tagged as a suspect in the murder of the 26-year-old Laude, found lifeless and bruised inside a motel comfort room in this city with his face rested into the toilet bowl.
Lawyers for the Laude family insisted they will not stop until the US Marine is transferred into a regular jail while facing trial.
As Pemberton’s convoy arrived at the Olongapo City Justice Hall, he was whisked into the courtroom by six US soldiers and subject to booking procedure, which entailed a medical examination, a profile shoot, and taking of his fingerprints.
No arraignment was made yesterday as the legal panel of Pemberton filed a motion to suspend the proceedings before the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court (RTC), which set the hearing for the said motion on December 22.
As such, Pemberton was returned to his detention facility at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, frustrating the Laude’s camp who had been insisting that he be detained at a jail in this city under the jurisdiction of the court.
Michelle Laude said she had mixed emotions upon seeing Pemberton for the first time and had wanted to take off her shoe and hit him with it.
Marilou, the eldest of the Laude siblings, was also fuming with anger, but said she somewhat felt relieved that, at the moment, the wheels of justice are working.
She said she all she wants is to see Pemberton tried for the death of her brother.
But at one point, Marilou said she saw Pemberton smiling, but when he noticed she was staring at him, “He quickly looked away from me and never smiled again.”
“I wanted to come close to him to ask him why he killed my sibling, to smash his head on the wall, but there were too many (guards) around him,” she added.