Jason’s brother and sister-in-law talk about their ordeal after his murder and how Molly Martens made it worse, writes Joe Leogue.
THE twin of Limerick man Jason Corbett has described his brother’s killer as a ‘piece of work’, who sought to make his family’s life difficult after she murdered the father-of-two.
Wayne Corbett’s comments came after Molly Martens and her father Thomas Martens received a sentence of 20-25 years for the murder of Jason Corbett.
Jason Corbett died when his murderers repeatedly struck him in the head in the master bedroom of his home in Panther Creek, North
Carolina, on August 2, 2015.
Mr Corbett shared the house with his wife Ms Martens and his two children Jack and Sarah from a previous marriage. His first wife, Margaret, died following an asthma attack in 2006.
Both Wayne Corbett and Catherine Fitzpatrick, Jason Corbett’s sister-in-law through his first marriage, spoke to RTÉ following the guilty verdict and sentencing. Ms Fitzpatrick said Ms Martens did not just murder Jason Corbett but that “she made everything difficult, she went out of her way to hurt people”.
Ms Fitzpatrick said that Ms Martens sent the bill for the ambulance that came for Jason on the night he was murdered to the Corbett family, something she described as “heartless”.
Wayne Corbett confirmed this and said Ms Martens went even further to cause difficulty for his family when they went to the States to see Jason’s body.
“They took Jason from his residence in Panther Creek to the hospital, she sent the bill for that.
“When they went over originally, trying to see Jason, she got the body moved a couple of times as well, they couldn’t actually find the funeral home where Jason was for a few days until she eventually told them where he was,”
Mr Corbett said.
Ms Fitzpatrick, who lived with Jason and Margaret for a period of time, rejected the defence argument that Jason was an abusive man, and said he was a good husband to her sister.
“There wasn’t anyone who would say a bad word about him. Him and Mags were soulmates, he was an absolutely brilliant husband to Mags and an amazing father,” she said.
“It made me angry that they were going to tarnish his name, when all of us knew there was no possible way he would hurt anyone. He wasn’t like that, it was all lies,” she said.
Wayne Corbett also spoke of the difficulty of sitting through the trial in Davidson County, where the courtroom was shown graphic autopsy pictures of Jason’s injuries.
“It is very difficult to comprehend what they did to Jason. They didn’t just kill him. They slaughtered him,” he told host Cormac Ó hEadhra on the Today with Sean O’Rourke
He also queried why Molly Martens had a brick in her bedroom — the object she used to beat her husband to death: “Who would have a brick on their nightstand?”
He said he learned of his brother’s death when Ms Martens mother Sharon called him to inform him that Molly had “pushed Jason, Jason hit his head, and Jason was dead”.
He said he asked to speak to Ms Martens, but that her mother would not let him and hung up. It was his sister Tracey who finally made contact with her.
Wayne said that only Molly and Thomas Martens know for sure what happened the night his brother was murdered, but that he believes Jason was attacked in his sleep.
“No one will ever know exactly what happened that night but I believe Jason was asleep and they beat him to death. I believe the first blow was in the bed, I believe he was asleep when they hit him first in the head,” he said.
A motivation put forward over the past two years was that Jason planned to return to Ireland with the children, but that Molly Martens did not approve.
“America was good to him workwise, but his intention was always short term in America. His intention was always to come back here before Jack started secondary school,” Wayne said.
“There’s no doubt Jason was coming home with the kids, and she didn’t want
the kids to go, I have no doubt that was a factor,” Wayne Corbett said.
Asked if he believed Molly Martens loved the children, Wayne Corbett said: “If she loved those kids she wouldn’t have murdered their father.”
However, Wayne Corbett said, ultimately, he did not know what motivated his brother’s murder.
“You’d have to ask her what motivated Molly Martens. She brutally murdered my twin brother, she left Jack and Sarah without their father, and they had already lost Mags tragically in 2006,” he said. “What motivated her? Greed? Money? I don’t know,” he said.
Ms Fitzpatrick confirmed that Jason had refused to allow Ms Martens to adopt the children and he had told her mother Marian as much.
“It was never an option with him, he even spoke about that with my own mother,” she said. “When that was brought up he always said ‘no I won’t Marian, Mags is their mother’.”
Wayne Corbett said he would have preferred if the pair were charged with first-degree murder — where the killing is defined as premeditated — but that he understands why prosecutors went for a second-degree murder charge.
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