A Philippine government prosecutor says a detained U.S. Marine has been charged with murder in the killing of a Filipino transgender.

Prosecutor Emily de los Santos said Monday there was "probable cause" that Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton killed Jennifer Laude, whose former name was Jeffrey, in a motel room, where the victim's body was found in October in Olongapo city, northwest of Manila. She had apparently been drowned in a toilet bowl.

The emotional case reignited a debate over custody of American military personnel accused of crimes. But the looming irritant between the treaty allies over Pemberton's custody was eased after Washington agreed to move him from a U.S. warship to a Philippine camp, where he remained under American custody with an outer ring of Filipino guards.