Martens lose appeal over Corbett murder conviction

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Jason Corbett
The late Jason Corbett

THE judge who conducted the trial of Molly and Thomas Martens for killing Limerick father-of-two Jason Corbett has refused to quash their convictions for second degree murder.

Ms Martens (33) and her father, retired FBI agent Thomas Martens (67), are serving sentences of between 20 and 25 years in separate North Carolina prisons.

Mr Corbett died from head injuries sustained during a prolonged assault at the luxury home he shared with his Tennessee-born wife and his two children in 2015.

The Martens were unanimously convicted of murdering the 39 year-old Janesboro man following a five week trial at Davidson County Superior Court on August 9. However, they appealed  the verdict on the grounds of juror misconduct.

While the details of the judgement won’t be published until next week, the Irish Independent has reported that Judge David Lee has rejected the appeal.

Legal teams for the Martens had claimed that there were discussions between some jurors during the trial, despite the warnings of Judge Lee. Submissions were also made about post-trial comments by some of the jurors. The father and daughter were both seeking a full retrial.

That had been opposed by Davidson County District Attorney’s Office which argued, in detailed legal submissions, that there was no such misconduct as to warrant the conviction to be quashed and a retrial ordered.

It is understood the verdict has been passed on to Mr Corbett’s family in Limerick by North Carolina legal officials.

The Martens are also challenging their convictions to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the State’s second highest appeal court. It is understood that appeal will largely be based on legal issues surrounding their trial.

That appeal had been effectively suspended until the Davidson County legal issues were resolved.

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