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court date Jason Corbett’s family vow ‘justice will be done again’ as killers prepare for appeal

Convicted killers of Irishman preparing for appeal that could lead to the quashing of murder verdicts


Jason Corbett with Molly Martens, who he married after she came to work for him as a nanny. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

Jason Corbett with Molly Martens, who he married after she came to work for him as a nanny. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

Jason Corbett with Molly Martens, who he married after she came to work for him as a nanny. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

The family of a Limerick businessman brutally beaten to death by his American wife and her father have insisted they retain full faith in the US justice system.

But the family of father-of-two Jason Corbett (39) vowed that, irrespective of the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal by his killers next month, their commitment to seeing justice done will never waver.

The vow came as Molly Martens (37) and her father Tom Martens (70) are due to have an oral appeal hearing dealt with by the North Carolina Supreme Court on January 11.

They secured a shock ruling, by a two-to-one split decision, at North Carolina Court of Appeals last February recommending that their convictions be set aside.

Oral submissions will be made to the Supreme Court by the Martens defence teams and the North Carolina Attorney-General’s Department.

Mr Corbett’s sister, Tracey Lynch, who led a campaign for justice for her brother, said the family retain full faith in the US legal system.

“We saw justice done for Jason in August 2017 in North Carolina, when Molly and Tom Martens were unanimously convicted of his second-degree murder by a jury of 12 ordinary men and women,” she said.

“Jason died a most cruel and violent death at the hands of two people he trusted. He was asleep and defenceless in bed when he was attacked.

“We will never stop campaigning to ensure that justice is done for him. We firmly believe that justice will again be done in North Carolina for our brother.”

Both Tom and Molly Martens are currently serving 20- to 25- year prison sentences for the second-degree murder of Mr Corbett in August 2015.

Molly Martens has been cited five times for breaches of prison rules and was banned from receiving prison visits for 30 days.

Her father, who will turn 71 next month, failed in a bid to secure early release during the summer because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, both now want the North Carolina Supreme Court to quash their convictions.

In their submission, which runs to almost 100 pages, they argued they did not receive a fair trial three years ago because key material they sought to introduce into evidence was not allowed by the trial judge. They argued that this material was in support of their argument of self-defence.

North Carolina prosecutors lodged their own legal argument, urging the Supreme Court to reject the Court of Appeals ruling and uphold the original murder convictions.

If the North Carolina Supreme Court rules in favour of the Martens, a retrial will take place. Both father and daughter were convicted of beating the Limerick native to death with a metal baseball bat and a brick as he slept in his home in North Carolina in August 2015.

Tom Martens is a retired FBI agent. His daughter has suffered from a lengthy history of mental health problems.

Both insisted they acted in self-defence that night – despite the fact neither had suffered so much as a scratch or bruise at the scene.

In contrast, Mr Corbett’s skull was so badly crushed that a pathologist subsequently could not accurately count the number of blows inflicted.

The trial heard evidence that an attempt had been made to drug Mr Corbett, that he was attacked while asleep, and was beaten even after he had died.

It was further stated that they delayed ringing for paramedics to ensure Mr Corbett was dead when they arrived.

Mr Corbett’s first wife, Margaret, tragically died of an asthma attack in Ireland when his two children were aged two years and under.

He met Molly Martens when she travelled to Ireland from her native Tennessee to work as a nanny for his children.

However, he was unaware of her mental health problems and the fact that she was not a qualified nanny.

They married in June, 2011, and relocated with his two children to North Carolina.

Just weeks after the wedding, Molly Martens went to a divorce lawyer to determine her rights to his two children.

At the time of his death, Mr Corbett had been preparing to bring his children back to Ireland amid concerns over his wife’s strange behaviour.

Online Editors