Sister of murdered Jason Corbett criticises lack of information on court appearances

Molly Martens and her father Tom were convicted of second-degree murder but were released from prison following successful appeals
Sister of murdered Jason Corbett criticises lack of information on court appearances

Sarah Slater

A sister of Limerick man Jason Corbett, who was killed by his second wife and father-in-law, has slammed how she became aware that the pair are due to appear in a US court next month after waiting 17 months for a retrial date.

Tracey Corbett-Lynch, who lives in Limerick with her husband David and her brother’s children - Jack (17) and Sarah (15) - read the news about their court re-appearance from a US media report.

Molly and Tom Martens were convicted of the second-degree murder of the Limerick man at his North Carolina home on August 2nd, 2015, when his children - then aged 10 and eight - were in the house.

Mr and Ms Martens had pleaded they acted in self-defence.

The 38-year-old and her 72-year-old father, a retired FBI agent, both served four years of 20 and 25 years of their respective convictions for second-degree murder following their 2017 joint trial.

However, the pair were released in March 2021 after winning appeals before North Carolina’s court of appeal and supreme court on the grounds of juror misconduct and the failure to allow testimony to be heard.

No retrial date has yet been set, leaving Mr Corbett's family in the dark as to when legal proceedings will proceed.

A retrial date was not set at a court sitting in Davidson County, North Carolina earlier this year.

Retrial

In response to the news of next month's hearing, Mrs Corbett-Lynch tweeted: “Not great to find this out when reading the news.”

A media report on a US-based news service, the Winston-Salem Journal, reports Mr and Ms Martens are due back in court next month when a retrial date may be set.

According to the report, David Hall, a resident superior court judge assigned to the case will hold a hearing on September 21st in Davidson Superior Court.

In July, Garry Frank, district attorney for Davidson County, said he was hopeful a trial could be held sometime later this year.

The Corbett family have continually voiced their frustration and disappointment at the lengthy delays in holding the retrial and had appealed to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney to help them get information on how the case was progressing.

The extended Corbett family are expected to travel to the US next month for the pretrial hearing.

Mr Corbett’s children have given written statements to prosecutors on the events surrounding their father’s death.

Evidence in the original trial from the children was not allowed to be heard by the court.

Ms Martens first met Mr Corbett, a business executive, when she moved to Limerick from the US as his children’s nanny following the death of his first wife Mags in 2006. Ms Martens subsequently married Mr Corbett in 2011.

Mr Corbett was bludgeoned to death with a paving stone kept on his wife’s night stand.

An aluminium youth baseball bat was also used up to 12 times by Mr Martens, who claimed Mr Corbett had a stranglehold on his daughter.

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