The family of the Irish businessman murdered in his home in 2015 are confident that the convictions for his violent killing will be upheld following a recent shock decision.
Molly Martens and her father Tom have been granted a re-trial for their convictions for the murder of Jason Corbett in 2015.
The 39-year-old father of two from Limerick was beaten to death with an aluminium baseball bat and paving stone in the bedroom of the North Carolina home he shared with Molly, his second wife.
The Martens, who claimed they had been acting in self-defense, are currently serving 20 to 25 year sentences after they were convicted of second degree murder in 2017. However, a North Carolina Court of Appeal ruled last week that the father and daughter are entitled to a re-trial.
This is due to a number of "prejudicial errors" that arose during the course of their first trial, according to the court's majority ruling.
"We had not expected this decision," said Tracey Corbett Lynch, Jason's sister, and her husband David in a statement. The couple are the legal guardians of Jason's two children Jack and Sarah, who were orphaned after their father's murder.
Their mother Margaret 'Mags' Fitzpatrick passed away at the age of 31 due to an asthma attack.
"We fully respect the Court of Appeals process and the law in North Carolina though we are obviously disappointed. It is such a comfort knowing that so many people support and back us during this horrible time. Our family also knows that the truth will not change.
"We all know what happened. Jason was beaten around his head with a brick and baseball bat."
Molly and Thomas Martens continued to beat Jason after he died, the statement added.
"Jason’s children, Jack and Sarah, had to be sheltered by police from seeing what the Martens inflicted on their father. The autopsy has not changed nor have the horrific details of Jason’s death."
"The Martens' total lack of injuries at the scene has not changed. The fact that Jason was drugged has not changed."
Tom Martens, a retired FBI officer, is on record as saying he never witnessed or heard any abusive behaviour from Jason, they added. The Martens also did not offer any evidence of abusive behaviour during their five-week trial.
"The children recanted their statements. Molly Martens did not offer evidence in her own defence at her trial - but was perfectly willing to use US television to cast malicious slurs which she did not relate or substantiate from the witness box.
"All of these facts remain the same. We hope, trust and pray that the North Carolina Supreme Court will now see that justice is upheld.”
Prosecutors in the case now have until mid-March to lodge a petition to appeal this ruling to the North Carolina supreme court.