A sister of a murdered Irish father-of-two is pleading with judges to uphold the conviction of his American wife and father-in-law.
Limerick man Jason 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 to be announced this Summer.
Mr Corbett, the father of two young children Jack and Sarah, was bludgeoned to death by an aluminium baseball bat and paving stone while he slept.
The American woman first met Mr Corbett 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. The children now live with Mr Corbett’s sister Tracey who is their legal guardian and her husband David Lynch in Limerick. Jack is now aged 14 and Sarah 12.
In a post on her Facebook page, she said she wouldn’t inflict the emotional distress she and her family are going through on her worst enemy.
“This further Intentional infliction of emotional distress, the tort of outrage recklessly inflicted on Jason’s children and our family with this extreme and outrageous appeal has to end.
“Jason’s life has ended at the hands of Molly and Tom Martens, allow his children to have one. Please say a prayer that the these three extremely busy North Carolina court of appeal Judges have the time in their calendar to hand down their decision and end four years of extreme distress. I wouldn’t wish this mental torture on my worst enemy.”
Mrs Lynch’s brother and Mr Corbett’s twin Wayne added:
Hopefully the three judges in North Carolina uphold the convictions of members of the Martens family soon and let us as a family get on with our lives especially Jack and Sarah.
Hundreds of people responded to Mrs Lynch’s Facebook plea. A 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.
The family support Facebook page, Jason’s Journey also posted: "Nearly four years ago, Molly and Thomas Martens brutally tortured Jason Corbett to death. They were convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. They have never shown any remorse or horror at their violent taking of Jason’s life.
“Fours years on, the Martens are inflicting a different type of torture on Jason’s family (especially his two children), with their ludicrous appeal. They are only worthy of our contempt as they literally try to get away with murder.
“Jason’s family have been waiting nearly six months for a decision from the court of appeals. I have no doubt the murderers conviction will be upheld, the evidence speaks for itself..... The Corbett family will never get Jason back, the least they deserve is that the Martens never get back their freedom……"