The family of Limerick father-of-two Jason Corbett will today mark the seventh anniversary of his death while his two killers, Tom (72) and Molly (38) Martens, remain free on bail pending their retrial.
Jason’s sister, Marilyn, said the family have endured a terrible ordeal over the past seven years – and their nightmare has been made all the more painful by the lack of information about the pending retrial in North Carolina in the United States.
“After seven years we are basically back at square one,” she said.
“A North Carolina newspaper recently carried a news story that a pre-trial hearing date was possible in August and that the retrial might be staged this year.
“But we haven’t heard anything directly from the US authorities about what is going on. We have been left completely in the dark. We just don’t know what is happening.
“Our family will mark the seventh anniversary of Jason’s death while his killers are still walking free. It is simply not right for our family to hear snippets of information about the retrial via the media. We surely have a right to be kept fully informed.”
The Irish Independent understands that the family have written to Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney to ask for help in clarifying the timing of the retrial.
Marilyn’s sister, Tracey Corbett-Lynch, who has spearheaded a campaign for justice for her brother, declined to comment. She is expected to be a key prosecution witness at the retrial.
She previously vowed that her family will do everything possible to support Davidson County prosecutors and police – and that the Corbett family retain full faith in the US justice system.
Mrs Corbett-Lynch and her husband, Dave, are raising Mr Corbett’s two children, Jack (17) and Sarah (15), who were left orphaned by his killing. The two children lost their mother to an asthma attack in November 2006.
Mr Corbett was found critically injured in the bedroom of his North Carolina home on August 2, 2015. He had been savagely beaten with a concrete brick and a metal baseball bat by Molly and Tom Martens.
Molly Martens, who was Mr Corbett’s second wife, insisted with her father that they acted in self-defence. Mr Martens is a former FBI agent.
However, both were completely uninjured at the scene, while Mr Corbett’s head had been so badly beaten that a pathologist could not accurately count the number of blows inflicted.
Mr Corbett’s family maintained he was killed in a bid by the Martenses to secure control of his two children.
He had repeatedly refused to sign adoption papers giving Ms Martens equal rights to the children amid concerns about her mental health and increasingly strange behaviour.
The father and daughter were convicted of second-degree murder following a high-profile North Carolina trial in July and August of 2017.
They were sentenced to 20-25 years in prison.
However, the North Carolina Supreme Court last year overturned the convictions and the father and daughter were released on bail pending a full retrial.