THE killers of Janesboro man, Jason Corbett, were this Wednesday due to appear before a US court hearing, seeking release from custody after their convictions for his murder were overturned.
Mr Corbett’s wife, Molly Martens Corbett (37), and his father in law Thomas Martens (71), were being held without a bond, at the medium security Davidson County Jail, Lexington, North Carolina, to appear before Davidson County Courthouse for a bond hearing.
Police Captain at Davidson County prison, Dede Sprinkle, told the Limerick Post it will be up to the judge hearing the case “whether or not they want to change the bond from zero to some monetary value”.
The court will consider the next steps in the case after the Martens’ murder convictions were overturned last month after they had served four years of 20-25 years sentences, and later offered a deal by the Davidson District Attorney Garry Frank to admit to manslaughter instead of facing a retrial – meaning they would likely serve only two additional years in jail.
Their 2017 murder trial heard they beat Mr Corbett (39) to death with a metal baseball bat and a concrete paving brick.
The jury did not believe the Martens claim that they were acting in self defence when Tom Martens said he walked in on his son in law choking his daughter.
Mr Corbett’s sister, Tracey Corbett Lynch, travelled to North Carolina with Mr Corbett’s children Jack (16) and Sarah (14), in recent days to get an update from the District Attorney in charge of prosecuting the case.
Ms Corbett Lynch said her family was “devastated” to learn of the DA’s offer to the Martens which she said, “has let them get away with murder”.
Molly Martens flew to Limerick after she was hired by Mr Corbett to be nanny to his two children from his first marriage to Margaret Fitzpatrick-Corbett, after Ms Fitzpatrick tragically passed away from an asthma attack in 2006.
Despite the Martens’ claiming Molly was attacked by Jason on the night he died, and that she and her father had fought back using weapons, their trial heard that traces of a sedative drug were later found in Mr Corbett’s system and their were no defence wounds or marks on either Molly or Tom.
According to documents Tom Martens was transferred from a high security jail in Alexander, NC, to Davidson County Jail, at 8.22pm, April 1. Molly Martens Corbett was transferred to Davidson from a woman’s prison in Raleigh, NC, at 0:37am on April 2.
Davidson County Jail can hold a maximum 295 prisoners, Cpt Sprinkle added.
Almost 9,000 signatures have been added to an online petition launched by the Corbett family, which seeks a “Retrial for Molly and Tom Martens”, which will be sent to Davidson County DA, Garry Frank.
In a letter to US President Joe Biden, DA Garry Frank, and the Limerick Post newspaper, Jason Corbett’s brother John P Corbett wrote of his “dismay” at the plea bargain offer to “two cold narcissistic individuals”.
“My many colleagues in the UK NHS health system, are also totally dismayed how two cold blooded murderer’s are being gifted leniency by the North Carolina Justice system,” said Mr Corbett, who is based in East Anglia.
“Two cold individuals who used weapons way beyond the reasonable amount of force necessary to kill someone (I have 21 years military service). Two individuals who did not have a scratch on them..(in their obscene self defence plea). Some individuals would get five years in prison for theft.”
“We as a family, like any family in the world who have lost a family member to a brutal cowardly murder, would want normal justice. Sadly the justice system seems, in this case, to be working for the murderers, and not for the life they have coldly taken for their own narcissistic agenda.”
“It is a truly sad day as all eyes are on the inequality and injustice being played out at the moment in North Carolina.”