A police dispatcher who took Thomas Martens’ 911 call the morning of Irish businessman Jason Corbett’s death testified that Mr Martens never sounded out of breath, even as he did three rotations of CPR on Mr Corbett, writes Michael Hewlett.
The dispatcher, Karen Black Capps, gave this testimony outside the presence of the jury. Molly Martens, Mr Corbett’s second wife, and her father, Mr Martens, face second-degree murder charges over Mr Corbett’s death on August 2, 2015.
David Freedman, Mr Martens’ attorney, and Walter Holton, Ms Martens’ attorney, objected to that part of the testimony, saying Ms Capps was not qualified to give an opinion.
Ms Capps, a dispatcher in Davidson County, North Carolina, for 16 years, said CPR is exhausting and many people performing it get out of breath, but Mr Martens never appeared tired.
“I noticed he was not out of breath,” she said. “He didn’t sound like most people do.”
She said Ms Martens appeared a little excited and yelled out the counts for the compressions, as if she wanted to make sure Ms Capps heard her.
Jones Byrd, one of Mr Martens’ attorneys, argued that the testimony gave an inference that Ms Capps did not believe the father and daughter performed CPR.
Judge David Lee of Davidson Superior Court ruled that Ms Capps could not testify about her observations of Ms Martens and Mr Martens in front of a jury.
The nearly 15-minute 911 call was played in front of the jury. Mr Martens was heard telling Ms Capps that he believed he may have killed Mr Corbett and that he struck him with the baseball bat because Mr Corbett was choking his daughter and threatening to kill her.