The wife of the Irish man killed in the US two years ago has not been called to testify in his murder trial, writes Michael Hewlett from North Carolina.
Defence attorneys for Thomas Martens and MollyMartens-Corbett, both accused of the brutal killing of Irish businessman Jason Corbett, today rested their case without calling on Molly Corbett or two of her three brothers to gove evidence.
Both of the accused have pleaded not guilty to all charges claiming self-defence.
Molly Martens-Corbett, her blonde hair tied in a bun as it has been throughout the trial, stood beside Cheryl Andrews, one of her attorneys, as she answered questions posed by trial judge David Lee.
Judge Lee wanted to make sure Ms Martens-Corbett understood that she didn’t have to testify and that jurors would be instructed not to presume anything about her guilt if she chose not to take the witness stand.
Judge Lee also asked her if she understood that if she elected to testify, she would be subject to cross-examination by prosecutors and forced to provide information that could incriminate her.
"Yes," she said again.
When asked if she had any questions, she said, "No, sir."
Walter Holton, also an attorney for Molly Martens-Corbett, handed up copies of Jason Corbett’s 2007 will to the jury.
He then said he would not have any other evidence to present. David Freedman, attorney for Thomas Martens, also said he would not be offering any other evidence.
Two of Molly Martens-Corbett’s brothers were expected to testify but no one else was called to the witness stand Monday morning.
Closing arguments in the case will start later this afternoon.
Martens, a former FBI agent, and his daughter, Molly, are both charged with second-degree murder in Jason Corbett’s death in the early morning hours of August 2, 2015.
Jason Corbett, 39, a manager at Multi Packaging Solutions, was found bludgeoned to death in the master bedroom of his house at 160 Panther Creek Court in the Meadowlands, a golf-course community in Davidson County.
Jason and Molly married in 2011, three years after he hired Molly as an au pair for his children, Jack and Sarah, from his first marriage. They settled in Davidson County.
The crux of the case has been whether Martens and Molly Martens-Corbett killed Jason Corbett in self-defense and the defense of others.
Thomas Martens took the stand Friday and said he struck Jason Corbett with a 28-inch Louisville Slugger baseball bat when he saw Jason Corbett choking Molly and threatening to kill her.
He described a life-and-death struggle in which he struck Jason Corbett multiple times in the head in an effort to prevent Jason from killing Martens and Molly.
Davidson County prosecutors have argued that the physical evidence contradicts statements made by Martens and Molly. They said Martens and Molly Corbett beat Jason Corbett to death with the baseball bat and a concrete paving brick.
Molly Martens-Corbett told investigators that she tried to hit Jason Corbett with the paving brick during the altercation.
Martens did not mention in his testimony anything about Molly Corbett using the paving brick.
Stuart James, a blood-stain pattern analyst, testified that the condition of the paving brick suggested that the brick was used multiple times to strike someone.
During the prosecution’s case, defense attorneys attempted to point out that 23 people, including emergency service personnel, were in and out of the house the morning of August 2, 2015 and that investigators with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office failed to collect and test certain evidence.
The main thing they have pointed to is a piece of hair on Jason Corbett’s right hand that they argue would corroborate Molly Martens-Corbett’s and Martens’ statements.
Prosecutors presented some evidence that Thomas Martens did not like Jason Corbett. A former co-worker of Martens testified that Martens told her two months before Jason died that he "hated" Jason Corbett.
Martens testified under cross-examination that he disliked Jason Corbett and had even advised his daughter to consider divorcing him.