Jason Corbett killers may be freed on bail today

Jason Corbett killers may be freed on bail today

Molly Martens Corbett and her father, Thomas Martens, a former FBI agent, were convicted of second-degree murder in 2017. File picture: Jerry Wolford

The killers of Limerick man Jason Corbett, Molly and Tom Martens, may apply for bail today, while they consider a plea bargain offer of manslaughter, or face a full retrial on second-degree murder charges.

According to Mr Corbett’s sister, Tracey Corbett Lynch, a bail hearing for the pair has been set aside for 2pm today,(7pm Irish time) at Davidson County Courthouse.

Ms Martens, aged 37, and her father Tom, 71, were convicted in 2017 of Mr Corbett’s 2015 murder, however their convictions were quashed last month and a retrial ordered after they successfully argued they did not get a fair trial.

The pair have already served four years of each of their 20-25 year sentences.

Mr Corbett, 39, was beaten to death as he slept in his North Carolina home, which he shared with his second wife Molly Martens, and his two children, Jack and Sarah, from his previous marriage to his late wife Margaret Fitzpatrick, who passed away years previously after suffering an asthma attack in 2006.

Molly Martens and Tom Martens, a former FBI officer, beat Mr Corbett to death with a metal baseball bat and a concrete paving brick, their trial heard.

However, they claimed they acted in self defence after Mr Corbett tried to choke Ms Martens.

Despite this defence, the trial heard that when police and paramedics arrived at the house they found no visible marks on the father and daughter.

The Martens have been transferred from separate high-security prisons, where they were serving their murder sentences, to Davidson County jailhouse.

Almost 8,000 signatures have been added to a petition launched by the Corbett family which seeks a “Retrial for Molly and Tom Martens” and which will be sent to Davidson County DA, Garry Frank.

Mr Frank, who informed the Corbett family last week that he had offered the Martens a plea bargain deal rather than seek a retrial, due to a backlog in criminal cases, due to Covid-19, could not be reached for comment.

Ms Corbett-Lynch, who won custody of her brother’s children Jack, 16, and Sarah, 14, said they were “devastated” at the DA’s decision.

Her brother John Corbett, who works for the NHS in London, has written to the DA as well as US president Joe Biden expressing his “dismay” at the plea bargain offer to “two cold narcissistic individuals”.

“My many colleagues in the UK NHS health system, are also totally dismayed how two cold-blooded murderers are being gifted leniency by the North Carolina Justice system,” Mr Corbett wrote.

“Two cold individuals who used weapons way beyond the reasonable amount of force necessary to kill someone (I have 21 years military service). Two individuals who did not have a scratch on them...(in their obscene self-defence plea). 

"Some individuals would get five years in prison for theft. We as a family, like any family in the world who have lost a family member to a brutal cowardly murder, would want normal justice. Sadly the justice system seems, in this case, to be working for the murderers, and not for the life they have coldly taken for their own narcissistic agenda.” 

“It is a truly sad day as all eyes are on the inequality and injustice being played out at the moment in North Carolina.”

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.