The daughter of Jason Corbett, who was killed by his second wife and father-law, has slammed her “former stepmother” for making her an “orphan”.
Sarah Corbett Lynch, 14, and her 16-year-old brother Jack were orphaned when their 39-year-old father was killed in his home in Walburg, North Carolina, on August 2, 2015 while he slept. Mr Corbett was bludgeoned to death with an aluminium baseball bat and paving stone.
Molly Martens, 37 and her father Tom, 71, a retired FBI agent with 30 years experience, were convicted of second-degree murder by a US court in August 2017. The pair were released from jail after 44 months, last Wednesday following a North Carolina Supreme Court ruling ahead of a retrial.
The children’s biological mother Mags died in 2006 following an asthma attack. It was two years later that Molly Martens first met Mr Corbett when she moved to Limerick from the US, as his children’s nanny. She subsequently married Mr Corbett in 2011.
The teenager claimed over the weekend on Twitter that, “Molly Martens (former stepmother four years) abused me and my brother before then murdering my father in 2015 with her FBI Dad.
The children’s author already accused the father and daughter of coercing her to lie in police statements following the murder.
Meanwhile, Tracy Corbett Lynch, Jason’s sister and legal guardian of his children speaking on behalf of the Corbett and Lynch families thanked the public for their ongoing support over the past six years.
In a statement, they said they: “….wanted to express…sincere thanks to all who have shown such tremendous friendship and support to our family on both sides of the Atlantic, not just in the past couple of trying weeks, but ever since Jason was killed in 2015.
“Many of you are now friends, but many of you are also strangers. What unifies us is that, no matter where you are from, or what continent you live on, when something so fundamentally wrong and appalling occurs such as Jason’s vicious murder and the abuse of his children, it unifies people, as human beings and citizens of the world.”
The families added the ongoing fight to clear Mr Corbett’s name and for justice will continue.
“This isn't about anger or revenge, this is about a will to honour those we love and shine a light on truth and justice. All children, not just Jason's, need to live in a world where they see that there is justice, honesty and fairness.
The Martens — who never denied killing Jason but claimed they acted in self-defence — walked free after being granted bail on a bond set at $200,000 or €170,000.
A retrial will not be held until late 2022 at the earliest and the District Attorney Garry Frank said there is a “strong possibility” that Jason’s children will be called as witnesses after they recanted statements made to authorities in the immediate aftermath of the father’s death.
They claimed that their father was physically, emotionally and verbally abusing their stepmother.
The Martens claimed as part of their successful appeal that statements the two children had given to social workers, at the time, should have been allowed as evidence in the original court trial.