Claim by Martens’ attorney causes outrage in Limerick

Jason Corbett
The late Jason Corbett

A CLAIM by a lawyer acting for Molly Martens, who was convicted of murdering her husband Jason Corbett, that the Limerick man killed his first wife has caused outrage in his native city. 

Ms Martens (38) and her father, Thomas Martens (72), are both accused of the murder in 2015. Her attorney, Douglas Kingsbery, claimed at a hearing in Davis Superior Court this week that the Corbett family, and particularly Jason’s sister, Tracey Corbett Lynch, has made regular public statements about the case.

Mr Kingsbury was addressing Judge David Hall, who was issuing an order preventing any party who might be called to testify from making public statements in the matter.

Mr Kingsbery said that in both her books about the late Mr Corbett, his sister had portrayed him as a loving husband, which Mr Kingsbury alleged were false.

Instead, he claimed, that Mr Corbett had physically abused Ms Martens for years before his death on August 2.

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Mr Corbett’s first wife, Margaret Fitzpatrick Corbett, is reported to have died of an asthma attack in 2006. The attorney claimed that this was also false and he would contend that she had died at her husband’s hands.

He said the defence will claim that Ms Martens was being attacked by Mr Corbett when her father came upon the scene and hit him with a baseball bat to defend his daughter.

In their original trial, it was alleged that the Martens beat Mr Corbett with a baseball bat and a concrete paving slab, hitting him in the head at least 12 times and crushing his skull.

Judge Hall said he was imposing the gagging order as a necessary and temporary limit of the right to free speech in order to protect the right to a fair trial.

He expressed concerns about the amount of national and international media coverage of the original case and the pending retrial.

The Martens were originally convicted of the second degree murder of Jason Corbett in 2017 and sentenced to 20 and 25 years in jail.

That conviction was overturned by the North Carolina court of appeal and that decision was then upheld by the North Carolina Supreme Court, sending the matter back to Davidson County for retrial.