A Facebook page urging the US justice system to keep two convicted murderers of an Irish father-of-two behind bars has been set-up.
The 'Keep Molly and Tom Martens behind bars' page was created in response to moves by a relative, Mike Earnest, to increase exposure of the case before the Court of Appeals in Davidson County, North Carolina, regarding their conviction for second degree murder of Limerick man Jason Corbett.
Mr 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.
Ms Martens Corbett, 34, and her father Tom, 68, a retired FBI agent, were convicted of the second-degree murder of the father-of-two at his home at Panther Creek 19 months ago.
The Martens pleaded not guilty to the charges and claimed self-defence was the reason behind their actions.
The new page was created on February 11, soon after Mr Earnest - an uncle and brother-in-law of the two murderers - started his own Facebook campaign called 'Free Molly and Tom Now', to highlight the facts of the primary court case. The posts detail facts about murder, analysis of domestic abuse, character traits of the daughter and father and criticism of messages on the Martens’ page.
One post talks about domestic abuse which Mr Corbett’s family believe he was allegedly subjected to.
“Was Jason the actual victim of domestic abuse? A very common thing about abuse victims is that victims tend to minimise the abuse they endure.
“They are in a state of denial, mainly out of shame and embarrassment. Usually within domestic violence situations, it would be people (i.e family, friends, neighbours etc) outside the family home who would notice the pattern of abuse first and would bring it to the attention of the said victim.”
The post adds: “The typical abuser would be considered a bully. The one thing they have in common is their desire for power over their victim.
“The typical abuser would have issues relating to insecurity, be possessive [i.e try to isolate their victim from family and friends], hypersensitive and react aggressively, verbally abusive, cruel to animals and children, and would suffer from untreated mental health issues.”
The page has received hundreds of positive comments while the 'Free Molly and Tom Now' campaign has attracted scores of critical comments.
Postings on the new Facebook page include comments such as, “I sat through several days of testimony behind the Corbett family. My heart will always ache for them. I know they are strong people and will rise above this. Jason Corbett will not be forgotten."
As far as the murderers and their so-called ‘appeal', I pray with all of my might that any judge will see that they are where they need to stay.
On the Martens’ page, comments of “The crime scene spoke the truth and they are where they belong. . . former FBI or not!” were made.
Ms Martens Corbett first met Jason when she moved to Limerick from the US, as his children’s nanny following his first wife Mags Fitzpatrick’s death. The American woman subsequently married Mr Corbett in 2011.
Jack and Sarah, Mr Corbett’s children were in the family home at the time their father was murdered.
The trial, which resulted in the jailing of the two, heard in the summer of 2017 that company manager Mr Corbett was bludgeoned to death with a paving stone kept on his second wife’s night stand.
An aluminium youth baseball bat that weighed less than half a kil, was also used up to 12 times by Mr Martens, who claimed it was used to get Jason to release his stranglehold on his daughter Molly.
Documents were subsequently lodged by North Carolina state prosecutors, acting for the Davidson County District Attorney's Office, in response to the appeals by Molly and Tom Martens against their convictions for the second degree murder of Mr Corbett three years ago.
The State case is that the father and daughter fabricated the self-defence story to explain their murder of Mr Corbett.
The Corbett family firmly believe that he was attacked and killed because he planned to move back to Ireland with his two children due to concerns over the increasingly bizarre behaviour of Ms Martens who had a history of mental health issues.
The outcome of the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruling is not expected for a number of months. If the father and daughter fail to win a retrial with the Court of Appeal, their only option is the North Carolina Supreme Court.