Corbett trial: Two jurors ‘changed minds’ after night’s sleep
Foreman of the jury says guilty count initially stood at 10-2 for Molly Martens Corbett
Molly Martens Corbett is led in handcuffs to a waiting van for transport to prison on Wednesday afternoon. Photograph: Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch
Two jurors in the Jason Corbett murder trial changed their view on the culpability of his wife Molly Martens Corbett for his killing after “having a night to sleep on it”, the foreman of the jury has revealed.
Speaking after the sentencing of Martens Corbett and her father Thomas Martens to a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 25 years for second-degree murder, Tom Aamland said it was not an easy decision for two of the jurors.
“We were confident in one of the defendants, but we had more (difficulty) with the other,” said Mr Aamland, who was responsible for reading aloud the jury’s decision in court.
Several members of the jury wept as they were asked to individually deliver the verdicts they reached in the case.
Earlier in the morning, jurors requested a break after one hour of deliberation, alluding to anxious moments in the jury room that would foreshadow a verdict soon to be handed down.
Speaking with reporters outside the Davidson County Courthouse after the case, Mr Aamland said the jurors left the courthouse on Tuesday with a 12-0 vote to convict Thomas Martens, but only had a 10-2 count for Molly Martens Corbett.
He said the two jurors reversed their vote willingly “after having a night to sleep on it.”
‘Great American citizen’
Attorneys for former FBI agent Martens and his daughter also spoke Wednesday, as David Freedman and Walter Holton gave separate statements for their clients.
“I’ve gotten to know Mr Martens quite well over the last few years,” Mr Freedman said. “Whatever happened that day… everything before and after that day, he has been a great American citizen.
“Because of the serious nature of the charge, he may be in prison the rest of his life.”
Mr Holton spoke of the possibility Martens Corbett could lose both of her parents while in prison. He also spoke of her affinity for her late husband’s children Jack and Sarah.
“Her mother has been diagnosed with cancer during the course of this situation,” Mr Holton said. “As punishment, she may very well lose her father and her mother… She obviously loved Jack and Sarah very much. She’s lost all ties there.”
Martens Corbett cried at each mention of Jack and Sarah’s names throughout the proceedings.
‘Brick on night stand’
Also speaking outside the court was Tracey Lynch, sister of Jason Corbett.
“Jason was unarmed,” she said. “He was struck when he was lying down. In the middle of the night, two people battered him until he was dead and then battered him even more.
“One of them swung a heavy metal baseball bat at Jason. One of them used a brick - a brick that had been on her night stand.
“When we sat through the evidence, we found those details so unbelievable. Who keeps a brick on their night stand?
“We thought that the jury would not find the two accused guilty but they did and we are thankful for it.
“ The jury have fulfilled their duty and I can promise them that we will fulfil our duty to help create a good future for Jason’s children who he loved. I can promise you that our family is going to stick up for Jason’s memory, telling the world that this is a good man.”
She added the children were exposed to a manner of evil she hoped they would never have to experience.
“They are now painfully aware there is violence and evil in this world. Memories of Jason are so precious, but with them comes the realisation he’s gone. They did not deserve to have to live the rest of their lives with this kind of pain.”