Man convicted of Jason Corbett murder looking for release due to coronavirus fears

Tom Martens, 70, a retired FBI agent, alongside his daughter Molly Martens Corbett, 36, was convicted of the murder of Jason Corbett in August 2017.
Man convicted of Jason Corbett murder looking for release due to coronavirus fears
File photo of Jason Corbett

Lawyers representing the man found guilty of the murder of a Co. Limerick father in America almost three years ago are expected to ask for him to be freed from prison due to coronavirus concerns for his health.

Tom Martens, 70, a retired FBI agent, alongside his daughter Molly Martens Corbett, 36, was convicted of the murder of Jason Corbett in August 2017.

Mr Corbett, 39, a business executive and father-of-two, died from head injuries after a sustained assault with a brick and a baseball bat at his family home in North CarolinA in August 2015.

Defence lawyer David Freedman said that he has filed a motion for his client's release with prison authorities in North Carolina, given Martens’ age and the threat the virus poses to him due to him being 70.

A bond hearing will be held today at Davidson County Superior Court.

In a motion filed with the court, his legal team said the father of three does not pose a flight risk and voluntarily would agree to house arrest at his son's home in Union County, North Carolina.

The local District Attorney is expected to oppose the application, arguing that prisoners serving sentences for murder should not be released as part of the current coronavirus response.

A year-long review by the Court of Appeal granted a re-trial for the father and daughter last month.

Several days later, a formal notice was issued by North Carolina Supreme Court clerk Amy Funderburk, confirming that a stay has been granted on a Court of Appeal order.

The North Carolina Attorney General Joshua H Stein, filed a motion to the Supreme Court of North Carolina on the Court of Appeal's decision to grant a re-trial on the pair’s murder conviction.

Mr Stein’s office said it was continuing to review the court of appeal decision in order to determine its next steps.

Lawyers for the father and daughter said they did not get a fair trial in 2017, and that the trial judge had excluded critical evidence in their case.

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