Deaths Hub




Philippine Prosecutors Recommend Murder Charge for U.S. Marine in Death of Trans Woman - VIDEO

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Prosecutors in the Philippines are recommending that a U.S. Marine be charged with murder in the suspected killing of a transgender woman back in OctoberThe New York Times reports:

Joseph Scott PembertonThe Philippines does not have a jury system so the case will be turned over to a judge who will decide the case against the Marine, Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, 19, in the death of Jennifer Laude, 26. Private Pemberton faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of murder, prosecutors said on Monday.

Private Pemberton was arrested in October while in the Philippines for United States military exercises. He met Ms. Laude in an Olongapo City nightclub and then accompanied her to a nearby hotel, according to a preliminary investigation that relied in part on closed-circuit television footage. Ms. Laude was later found dead on the hotel room’s toilet; her neck was broken.

Prosecutors said on Monday that they had recommended murder charges, rather than the lesser offense of homicide, because of aggravating circumstances, including the violent nature of Ms. Laude’s death.

“There was aggravated treachery, abuse of superior strength and cruelty,” said Emiline Delos Santos, the chief prosecutor of Olongapo City, about 50 miles outside Manila. “Because you have those three aggravating, qualifying circumstances, it is murder.”

Pemberton has not commented on the case and has yet to appear at any preliminary hearings. Back in October, the U.S. Embassy issued a statement saying:

“We are aware of the situation and express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. We are also aware that there are allegations that a foreigner, including possibly a US national, was involved in the incident. We are currently looking into these allegations and working closely with the Philippine National Police to take all necessary steps to help identify the suspects.”

Watch a news report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay UK Doctor Commits Suicide After Coming Out To Disapproving Mother Who Told Him to Get 'Cured'

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A London doctor committed suicide when he jumped from the fourth floor of his luxury penthouse apartment on Harley Street in reaction to his mother telling him to "seek a cure," after coming out to her, reports the London Evening Standard

Dr. Nazim Mahmood leapt to his death from his balcony the street on July 30, traumatizing nearby pedestrians and children who witnessed his death. An inquest at St. Pancras Coroners Court relayed information that before Mahmood's death, he told his mother that he was gay and revealed his 13-year relationship with his fiance, Matthew Ogston.

Dr. Mahmood kept his sexuality secret from his Muslim family in Birmingham because of fears that their religion would prevent them from accepting him. When Dr. Mahmood returned home to celebrate Eid, commonly known as Ramadan, he decided to come out to his family. Ogston, Mahmood's fiance, revealed that the doctor's mother was less than supportive.

Said Ogston:

"She had suggested to him he needed to see a psychiatrist to see if he could be cured. Together I think they agreed they would get through it. Telling someone they needed to be cured would not be the easiest thing to take."

The court found that Dr. Mahmood, having never suffered from depression or any other mental illness, took the drugs mephedrone and ketamine shortly before his death. Dr. Mahmood was a GP who also ran Face Clinic London - a chain series of medical clinics providing facial treatments for wrinkles such as Botox and chemical peels. Ogston is deeply saddened in the passing of the man he was about to marry, calling him his "soulmate."

Coroner Mary Hassell officially ruled that Dr. Mahmood took his life, and no foul play is involved. Hassell also expressed sadness for Dr. Mahmood's situation.

Said Hassell:

Uk"It seems incredible that a young man with so much going for him could have taken his own life. But what I’ve heard is that he had one great sadness which was the difficulty his family had in accepting his sexuality.

"It seems desperately sad that in 2014 a person should feel that they can’t be accepted because of the way that they live and I can only feel the deepest sympathy for Nazim that he felt so sad and desperate about this that he took his life."

Witnesses say Mahmood's body was left lying on the pavement, covered with a thin, red blanket, just yards away from a busy shopping area for almost four hours. One witness said, "The body was left outside for hours. I can't believe they just left it there. It's like he's an animal." A Scotland Yard spokesman apologized for not having a tent available to shield the body from the public.

The spokesman said:

"There was no tent available to officers to shield the body from the public. Officers instead used blankets. We apologise for any distress this may have caused members of the public."

Dr. Nazim Mahmood graduated from Birmingham Medical school in 2003 and moved to London a year later. He worked in several hospitals with a variety of specialties including HIV medicine, gynecology, orthopedics, pediatrics, accident and emergency before completing specialist training as a GP. Dr. Mahmood, along with colleague Dr. Anita Kapoor, founded Face Clinic London in 2009 with clinics located in Soho, West Hampstead and Harley Street.


Trans Pioneer and 'Stone Butch Blues' Author Leslie Feinberg Dies at Age 65

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Leslie Feinberg, a well-known transgender activist and author of Stone Butch Blues, died on Saturday due to complications from multiple tick-borne illnesses. 

Feinberg's family provided The Advocate with an obituary that read, in part:

She died at home in Syracuse, NY, with her partner and spouse of 22 years, Minnie Bruce Pratt, at her side. Her last words were: “Remember me as a revolutionary communist.”

Feinberg was the first theorist to advance a Marxist concept of “transgender liberation,” and her work impacted popular culture, academic research, and political organizing.

Her historical and theoretical writing has been widely anthologized and taught in the U.S. and international academic circles. Her impact on mass culture was primarily through her 1993 first novel, Stone Butch Blues, widely considered in and outside the U.S. as a groundbreaking work about the complexities of gender. [...]

Stone bitch bluesAt the time of her death she was preparing a 20th anniversary edition of Stone Butch Blues. She worked up to within a few days of her death to prepare the edition for free access, reading, and download from on-line. In addition to the text of the novel, the on-line edition will contain a slideshow, “This Is What Solidarity Looks Like,” documenting the breadth of the organizing campaign to free CeCe McDonald, a young Minneapolis (trans)woman organizer and activist sent to prison for defending herself against a white neo-Nazi attacker. The new edition is dedicated to McDonald. A devoted group of friends are continuing to work to post Feinberg’s final writing and art online at Lesliefeinberg.net.

Throughout her life, Feinberg participated in and helped organize numerous anti-war, pro-labor, and anti-racist demonstrations. You can read more about Feinberg's long life of activism by reading her full obituary over at The Advocate here

Our thoughts go out to Feinberg's friends and family.


Prominent LGBT Attorney From D.C. Killed In Dominican Republic: VIDEO

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The Washington Blade is reporting the shocking story of the Halloween-eve murder of a well-known and highly respected D.C. defense lawyer. Van Teasley, 55, headed to the Dominican Republic last Thursday for a long weekend and was found dead in his own apartment on October 30th, bound and gagged with no sign of forced entry. There have been no arrests or suspects in the case but local police in Santo Domingo are still investigating.

Back at home, Teasley often represented low-income and LGBT clients and was a regular presence at Washigton's Superior Court building. Local affiliate NBC 4 did a piece on Teasley's murder, saying that he visited his second home in Santo Domingo regularly, sometimes as often as once a month. His cousin speculated that Teasley may have grown "too comfortable" in a country known for religious intolerance when it comes to gay issues.

You can watch the full NBC 4 video AFTER THE JUMP...

(photo via Instagram)

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Los Angeles Couple Reach Plea Deal In Torture, Murder Of 'Gay Acting' Eight-Year-Old Son - VIDEO

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Pearl Fernandez has reached a plea deal in the murder and torture of her “gay acting” eight-year-old son Gabriel, reports NBC. Fernandez, along with former boyfriend Isauro Aguirre, will also plead guity to the charges and avoid the death penalty. 

Fernandez_aguirreThe two will be be sentenced to life in prison without parole in exchange for their guilty pleas to first degree murder and torture with special circumstances. Both have waived their right to appeal. 

Fernandez and Aguirre had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Gabriel, who died in May 2013, was allegedly beaten, doused with pepper spray, forced to eat his own vomit and locked in a cabinet with a sock in his mouth to muffle his screams.

Two of the boy’s siblings confirmed that Gabriel was forced to eat cat feces, rotten spinach and vomit; that he slept in a locked cabinet and wasn't let out to go to the bathroom; and that Fernandez and Aguirre called him gay, punished him when he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls' clothes to school.

Fernandez allegedly once jabbed Gabriel in the mouth with a bat and knocked out several teeth.

One of Gabriel’s siblings said that on the day of the fatal beating, Fernandez began hitting her son because he didn't want to pick up his toys. She then dragged him into a bedroom, where Aguirre joined her, and the siblings heard screaming, banging and then silence.

The incident has prompted calls for reforms to the Los Angeles County foster-care system because child welfare workers failed to remove Fernandez from his home. Moves have since been taken to fire two social workers and two supervisors, while others involved in the case have received letters of warning or reprimand.

Watch an NBC report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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U.S. Marine Probed In Murder Of Filippino Transgender Woman - VIDEO

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Police in the Philippines preparing to file murder charges against a U.S. marine suspected of killing a transgender woman will ask American officials to arrange the marine's surrender, reports Bloomberg.

An October 12th police report identified the victim as Jeffrey Laude - also known as Jennifer - who was found dead in a motel bathroom in Olongapo City. Laude had been strangled.

Witness Elias Gallamos said Laude entered Celzone Lodge on the evening of Saturday, October 11th with an “unidentified male white foreigner” aged between 25 and 30 with a marine “style of haircut.”

A friend of Laude said that after she met the foreign man in a nightclub, Laude became uneasy because the man hadn’t realized they were transgender. The friend also identified the marine in a photo lineup.

Vowing to investigate the allegations, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement:

“We are aware of the situation and express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. We are also aware that there are allegations that a foreigner, including possibly a US national, was involved in the incident. We are currently looking into these allegations and working closely with the Philippine National Police to take all necessary steps to help identify the suspects.”

A report in May showed that 102 transgender people across 14 countries had been murdered up in the first five months of the year.

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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