The sister of Jason Corbett has strongly criticised attempts by lawyers in America to have his former father-in-law permitted to remain at home over coronavirus fears, pending a retrial for the Irishman’’s alleged murder.
Tracy Corbett Lynch also said her own mother is "fighting for her life" against the coronavirus here in Ireland.
Thomas Martens, a former FBI agent, and his daughter, Molly, were convicted of second-degree murder of 39-year-old Jason after a trial in the summer of 2017.
However, in February of this year, a US appeals court decided to order a retrial over the Irishman’s death in 2015. Jason Corbett died from head injuries after a sustained assault with a brick and a baseball bat at the family home he shared with Molly, his second wife, and his children, in Wallburg in North Carolina.
Legal representatives for Thomas Martens had asked a court in North Carolina to allow him to stay at his son’s home, citing his age and the threat posed by Covid-19.
Mr Corbett sustained at least 12 blows to the head during the violent incident in the early hours of August 2, 2015 at the house in Davidson County. Thomas and Molly Martens claimed they acted in self-defence.
At the time of the ruling in February, it was decided that Thomas and Molly Martens would remain in jail pending further court proceedings.
Earlier this month lawyers for Mr Martens applied to the court asking that he be allowed to undergo monitored house arrest at the home of his son, Robert, in Waxhaw, Union County in North Carolina.
In the documents lodged with the court the lawyers said Mr Martens is 70 and "at elevated risk" of contracting Covid-19, adding that he has been released on bond pending trial and that during that time he has fully complied with the conditions of the pre-trial release. They argued he is not a flight risk.
But in a statement provided to the, Tracy Corbett Lynch slammed the application and revealed her own mother is already battling the coronavirus.
Ms Lynch, who is raising Jason’’s children at her home in Limerick, said: "Not once has Mr Martens shown any remorse for his actions. Not once has he offered any apology for the hurt he caused — or for leaving my brother’s children, Jack and Sarah, to live the rest of their lives without their father."
She said that during the initial trial Mr Martens had "repeatedly [tried] to justify" his actions on the night Jason was killed and had caused "immeasurable hurt" by his "consistent attempts to slander my brother and besmirch Jason’’s good reputation".
"As my mother, who is fighting for her life from Covid-19 here in Ireland, said in her Victim Impact Statement in August 2017, not once did Tom Martens show mercy or compassion to Jason as he beat him to death.
Yet he is now pleading for mercy for himself?
The application on behalf of Mr Martens has not yet been heard but it was reported that his legal team are seeking to have it addressed as early as next week.
The lawyers also referred to at least 62 inmates at the Butner Correctional Institute having contracted the coronvirus and said a prison environment could spark "unrestrained spread" of highly infectious diseases.
Thereported that Molly Martens is at the Alexander Correctional Institute, where no inmate has tested positive for the coronavirus.