Jason Corbett's children prepared to give evidence in retrial

Jason Corbett's children prepared to give evidence in retrial

Jason Corbett. 

The children of slain Limerick businessman Jason Corbett will give evidence in court if a district attorney in the United States is successful in getting Tom and Molly Martens retried for his murder.

Jack, 16, and Sarah, 14, have told US police they will stand up in court and make statements, their family has revealed. They discussed this with detectives just days ago.

Molly, aged 37, and her father, former FBI agent Tom Martens, aged 71, were yesterday granted bail with a bond of $200,000 (€168,525) on condition they surrendered their passports and stayed away from the family of Jason, who they killed in 2015. 

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

They had made a formal application for bail at a hearing at 7pm Irish time in Davidson County Courthouse, Lexington, North Carolina.

This where they were tried in 2017 for and subsequently found guilty of Mr Corbett's second-degree murder in August 2015.

They beat the 39-year-old father-of-two to death with a metal baseball bat and a concrete paving slab while he slept.

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

Thomas Martens.
Thomas 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.

But their convictions were recently quashed after the courts ruled the exclusion of certain evidence and erroneous inclusion of other evidence in the original trial had prevented the Martens from presenting a full and meaningful defence.

On hearing the Martens were subsequently offered a manslaughter plea bargain deal, Jason’s sister said she was “devastated”.

Tracey Lynch, who won custody of her brother’s children Jack, 16, and Sarah, 14, described the news as a “bombshell” and said that she never imagined such a development would occur.

In a statement after yesterday's hearing, Mr Corbett’s family said they welcome the fact that while the Martens have been bailed, district attorney Garry Frank is seeking to have them retried.

The children "are prepared to give evidence in a retrial, and spent two days being interviewed by detectives in North Carolina last week", the statement said.

“Jason’s children have been given the chance to give evidence in a retrial, and they look forward to telling a jury the truth about the abuse they and Jason suffered at the hands of Molly Martens.

“Our faith in the administration of justice in North Carolina has been renewed.

Molly Martens. 
Molly Martens. 

“The District Attorney’s determination to seek a retrial, in this case, ensures our six-year fight for justice for Jason continues.

“The District Attorney has shown today that Jason’s life is of equal importance to all others, even those of the well-connected and wealthy defendants who admitted killing him.

"A lifetime won't erase the images of the torture Jason endured. A lifetime will not erase the physical and emotional scars left on Jason's children, Jack and Sarah.

"We face a lifetime of loss, but our only solace comes in knowing that justice will be served, and a jury will get to hear the truth of Jason's heart and the lies of his heartless killers.”

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