Family of murdered Jason Corbett to ask for fast-track retrial of killers Molly and Tom Martens
There are fears the retrial could be stalled until 2023 – jeopardising the key exam years of Mr Corbett’s two children, Jack (18) and Sarah (16)
The family of murdered Irish businessman Jason Corbett (39) will today urge a US judge and prosecutors to fast-track the long-delayed retrial of his killers, Molly Martens (38) and her father Tom Martens (72).
The plea will be made amid fears the North Carolina retrial could be stalled until early 2023 – jeopardising the key exam years in Ireland of Mr Corbett’s two children, Jack (18) and Sarah (16).
Both children – who were left orphaned by their father’s brutal killing in August 2015 – celebrated birthdays over the past 10 days.
Jack is now scheduled to sit his Leaving Cert, while Sarah is scheduled to sit her Junior Cert.
The Corbett family’s plea for a priority hearing came amid concerns about the impact on the children, who will be key witnesses at the retrial, of another lengthy trial delay.
Judge David Hall will today stage a key pre-trial hearing with prosecutors and defence attorneys in Lexington, Davidson County, North Carolina, in respect of the proposed retrial.
A key priority for the hearing will be agreeing a retrial date.
The hearing will be staged six months after a preliminary retrial hearing in March, and four months after a trial date was originally to have been confirmed.
Any retrial is expected to last for up to seven weeks.
Mr Corbett’s sister, Tracey Corbett-Lynch, and her husband Dave will attend today’s hearing in Lexington.
Three members of the Corbett family – Tracey and Mr Corbett’s two siblings, Marilyn and Wayne – formally wrote to Davidson County district attorney Garry Frank last month to urge an expedited retrial.
Ms Corbett-Lynch has spearheaded the campaign for justice for her brother.
She declined to comment on the matter for legal reasons.
Like Jack and Sarah, she is also expected to be a witness at any retrial.
A family spokesperson said they are determined to end “the judicial nightmare” for the two children – who have endured a murder investigation, a murder trial, a protracted appeals process and now a stalled retrial for over seven years.
“Justice delayed is justice denied. That is the message we will be bringing to North Carolina,” a spokesperson said.
“Our priority is to see justice done for Jason and to protect his two children.”
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