A sister of murdered Irish father-of-two Jason Corbett has revealed the images of her brother’s death at the hands of his jailed American wife and father-in-law will never leave her as they are imprinted on her mind forever.
Limerick man Corbett, 39, was found with fatal head injuries at the home he shared in the US with his second wife, Molly Martens Corbett in Walburg, North Carolina on August 2, 2015.
Molly Martens Corbett, aged 35, and her father Tom, aged 68, a retired FBI agent with 30 years experience, were convicted of his second-degree murder of the business executive by a US court in August 2017.
The Martens pair pleaded not guilty to the charges and claimed self-defence was the reason behind their deadly actions.
The father and daughter are now serving 20 to 25 years in separate jails, and they are now awaiting the outcome of their appeals, which were heard by the North Carolina Court of Appeals last January.
If the father and daughter fail to win a retrial with the Court of Appeal, their only option is the North Carolina Supreme Court. The court appeal ruling is expected shortly.
Mr Corbett’s sister Tracey is his children's legal guardian and Jack, 14, and Sarah, 12, live with her and her husband David Lynch in Limerick.
In a post on her Facebook page, Mrs Corbett Lynch said: “I will always have cherished memories of Jason, but the fact is, his life was cut short in such a horrific, heinous and brutal way.
“I do have determined feelings of hope today that this perpetual rollercoaster will end for us. I am praying that we are no longer victims to their story, but free and empowered to finally heal and make choices about what comes next for us. Thinking of you (Jason) laughing and your warm smile.”
Mrs Corbett Lynch has written to Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney asking him to ascertain why there has been a lengthy delay in announcing the findings of the appeal process.
Mr Corbett was bludgeoned to death by an aluminium baseball bat and paving stone while he slept.
He met Molly Martens when she moved to Limerick as his children’s nanny following the death of his first wife, Mags Fitzpatrick, due to an asthma attack in 2006.
She subsequently married Mr Corbett in 2011 in the US, following the businessman’s relocation there.
An hour-long CBS documentary, aired last April in the US, on Mr Corbett’s killing entitled, In the Name of Jason, revealed that key evidence was allegedly not put before the jury which convicted them resulting in the potential for a new murder trial.
In the documentary, host Maureen Maher highlighted that a potential new trial now hangs in the balance.
She said comments made by the jury foreman following the Martens’ conviction throws their continued incarceration into doubt.
‘He said they (jury) did not discuss the verdict. ‘We didn’t discuss a verdict but in having private conversations everybody, we could read that everybody was going in the same direction.’”
The Martens’ defence team has based its appeal, in part, on what they claim is jury misconduct as a result of his comments.
Ms Maher explained that: “It (Jury foreman comments) certainly could (put the case in doubt) because everyday the judge said (the jurors) were not to have private conversations, (they) were not to discuss it as a group. In most cases, the notes and notebooks taken by jurors are put into a sealed envelope and they are not usually taken home.”
The host also pointed out that there are several other issues when it comes to the original trial which may result in the Appeals Court ordering a retrial. She said the trial judge would not allow comments from Jason’s children given to authorities just days after their father’s death and subsequently 9 months after their relocation to Limerick.
She added that the forthcoming appeal may go in the Martens’ favour. “One of the tell-tale signs is that the Appellant Court took oral arguments and that’s not common. Usually they’ll read it (evidence) and give a statement or written statements but they called them in (Martens and Corbetts) and let’s hear what you have to say - both sides.”
However, Assistant District Attorney for Davidson County Alan Martin through tears told the programme that the pair “…beat him (Jason) horribly and viciously and no human being deserves to leave their martial bedroom with their skull destroyed like what happened to Jason.
“He suffered blunt force trauma to the head and had at least a dozen blows to the head.” He questioned how the facts could be seen to be acts of self-defence.