Corbett murder trial: opening statements tentatively set for Tuesday

Corbett’s widow and his father-in-law have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder

Molly Corbett arrives at the Davidson County Courthouse on Monday morning. She and her father are charged with second-degree murder. Photograph:  Donnie Roberts/The Lexington Dispatch

Molly Corbett arrives at the Davidson County Courthouse on Monday morning. She and her father are charged with second-degree murder. Photograph: Donnie Roberts/The Lexington Dispatch

 

Opening statements are tentatively scheduled to begin on Tuesday in the Jason Corbett trial in Davidson County Courthouse in Lexington, North Carolina.

The widow of Mr Corbett, Molly Martens Corbett, and his father-in-law, Thomas Martens, are charged with second-degree murder in connection with an incident in the early hours of August 2nd, 2015, at Mr Corbett’s home in Wallburg, North Carolina.

Ms Martens and her father have both pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defence.

Mr Corbett (39) was found beaten to death inside his home where he lived with Ms Martens and his two children from a previous marriage.

The lengthy process of impanelling a jury was nearing completion on Monday. At the beginning of the day’s proceedings, 12 jurors had already been selected and the first of two alternate jurors was impanelled during the morning following the excusal of two others.

Alternate juror

Judge David Lee released the 13 seated jurors for the afternoon, but the court still needed to select one more alternate juror. Selection of the final alternate juror will resume on Tuesday morning .

One potential juror was excused by the prosecution on Monday after she answered a series of questions regarding an incident in which she indicated she became a victim.

The juror was also asked about an aunt she reported was killed by her husband. The alleged perpetrator was convicted of first-degree murder, according to the juror.

Another was allowed to step down by Judge Lee due to a personal hardship.

Domestic violence continued to be the prevailing theme of questioning of potential jurors.

During the afternoon session a woman was excused following testimony she gave regarding intense instances of violence at the hands of her first husband. On one occasion, she said she sustained a collapsed lung when he threw her up against a refrigerator. Another situation involved her then husband attempting to inflict burns to her body.

“It was one of the reasons for the divorce,” she said.

Violence involving a spouse or significant other has been the most prevalent reason for dismissal of potential jurors throughout the six-day period of jury selection.

A total of 143 potential jurors were on hand for the first day of trial on Monday of last week.