Molly and Thomas Martens to plead "not guilty" in death of Limerick man Jason Corbett

Jason Corbett
Jason Corbett

A lawyer representing Molly and Thomas Martens who have been described by police as "persons of interest" in the death of Limerick man Jason Corbett has said they will plead "not guilty" if charges are brought against them.

Mr Corbett was found unconscious and was pronounced dead a short time later when police in North Carolina were called to investigate a domestic disturbance on 2 August .

Ms Martens and her father Thomas, a retired FBI agent, have been described by police as "persons of interest" in the case but no arrests have been made.

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week, Lawyer David Friedman said that the Martens have "not committed any criminal acts."

The legal challenge for the custody of Mr Corbett's two children has also been under the spot light.

This week, a court in the United States ruled that Mr Corbett's will, which gave his sister and her husband custody, should be respected despite objections from Molly Martens legal team who was step-mother to the children.

Sarah and Jack Corbett arrived back in Ireland yesterday morning.

However, Mr Friedman said that Molly Marten will be appealing this week's ruling and continuing to fight for custody of 11-year-old Jack and 8-year-old Sarah.

He said: "Molly had been a mother to those children for the past eight years and to have people come and take away the children from her in the middle of the night, away from the only mother they've known, I thought was a fairly callous act."

"For them to come and rip a young 8-year-old girl from her mother, who she has referred to as mommy and the only mother in her life, is about as cold as anything I've experienced in my 33 years practice in law." 

The children's mother, Mags Corbett, died nine years ago from an asthma attack.

Mr Corbett will be laid to rest beside her later this week.