Martens appeal convictions for murdering Limerick businessman

Jason Corbett
The late Jason Corbett

Molly Martens-Corbett and retired FBI agent Thomas Martens are pursuing two separate appeals over the guilty verdicts returned in their trial for the second degree murder of Limerick businessman Jason Corbett in 2015.

The father and daughter, who are serving sentences of between 20 and 25 years in separate prisons, are claiming juror misconduct in their appeal against the verdict at their trial at Davidson County Superior Court in North Carolina on August 9.

They are also challenging their convictions to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and it is understood that this case will be heard after their legal challenge to their jury conviction in Davidson County is dealt with.

Judge David Lee of Davidson County Superior Court has received affidavits supporting their appeal for the conviction to be set aside because of alleged juror misconduct over claims that there were discussions between some jurors despite the warnings of Judge Lee.

This is being challenged by the Davidson County District Attorney who has argued that there was no such misconduct as to warrant the conviction to be quashed and a retrial ordered.

The two appeals being lodged by the Martens are separate to a wrongful death civil suit filed against them by the Corbett family which also includes Molly Marten’s mother, Sharon, as a co-defendant. They have requested that the civil proceedings be delayed and that the case is held outside Davidson County.

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Janesboro native Jason Corbett, died from head injuries sustained during a prolonged assault at the home he shared with his Tennessee-born wife in North Carolina. The jury was told that Mr Corbett may have been asleep and helpless in bed when he was attacked. He sustained at least 12 blows from a metal baseball bat and a concrete garden paving brick.

It also emerged during the trial that traces of a powerful sedative, trazodone, which had been prescribed to Ms Martens-Corbett three days before the killing, had been found in her husband’s system.

Mr Corbett had repeatedly declined to sign adoption papers in favour of Ms Martens-Corbett, his second wife, involving his two children. The Limerick man lost his first wife Margaret ‘Mags’ Fitzpatrick to a tragic asthma attack when she was just 30.

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