Full transcript of Thomas Martens’s 911 call to police

Jason Corbett died after a ‘domestic disturbance’ in North Carolina in August 2015

In the 911 recording, released by US police authorities on Thursday, Thomas Martens tells the operator his son-in-law is in “bad shape” and that he “may have killed him”.

In the 911 recording, released by US police authorities on Thursday, Thomas Martens tells the operator his son-in-law is in “bad shape” and that he “may have killed him”.


Operator: Davidson County 911, what is the address of the emergency?

Thomas Martens: My name is Tom Martens I’m at XXX Panther Creek Court and we need help.

O: Okay, what’s going on there?

TM: My daughter’s husband, my son-in-law, got in a fight with my daughter. I intervened and I think… he’s in bad shape. We need help.

O: Okay, what do you mean he’s in bad shape, he’s hurt?

TM: He’s bleeding all over and I may have killed him.

O: Give me your address again, make sure I got it right.

TM: XXX Panther Creek Court

O: What is your name?

TM: My name is Tom Martens.

O: Alright, Tom, give me the phone number you’re calling from.

TM: I don’t know. I’m sorry. I’m the father, I’m visiting. I don’t know.

O: Was he drinking?

TM: Yes, he had been drinking during the course of the day.

Voices can be heard in the background of Tom’s call

O: Are you with him now?

TM: I am.

O: How old is he?

TM: How old is he? [Thomas asks someone in the background] 39.

O: Is he conscious at all?

TM: No.

O: Is he breathing?

TM: I can’t tell.

O: What I need you to do is I need someone to roll him onto his back, right on his back.

TM: Okay, hang on.

The line goes quiet for a few seconds

TM: He’s a big heavy man, I can’t do it.

O: Is there anyone there that can help you.

TM: My daughter, she’s in terrible shape.

O: Someone needs to get him on his back. We need to verify he’s breathing.

TM: I’m trying…

O: Okay, just put the phone on speaker.

The line goes quiet for another few seconds

TM: Okay, I’ve got him rolled over.

O: All right. I want you to put one hand under his back, the other hand on his forehead and tilt his head back. Put your ear next to his mouth and tell me if you can hear or feel any breathing.

TM: I can’t [MUFFLED]anything, no.

O: Okay, I’m sending the paramedics and ambulance to help you, now stay on the line.

TM: Okay.

O: Tell me what happened, did you hit him in the head or…

TM: I hit him in the head.

O: With what?

TM: With a baseball bat.

O: With a baseball bat?

TM: Yes, ma’am. He was choking my daughter, he said: ‘I’m going to kill her.’

The phone line goes quiet for several seconds

O: Alright, we’re sending the paramedics to help you now. Where is the baseball bat?

TM: It’s in the bedroom here with me.

O: Okay, just don’t touch it anymore, okay?

TM: Yes, Mam.

O: We’ve already got them started that way, just don’t hang up; stay with me.

TM: I won’t.

O: All right, so we’re going to start CPR. He is still on his back?

TM: He is.

O: All right, I need you to make sure his mouth and nose are clear.

TM: He’s a mess.

O: I know, you need to clear it.

TM: Okay. Just get me like a wash cloth or something [Thomas says to someone else]. Yes they’re sending somebody. Okay…

O: All right, everything is clear?

TM: Ya, as clear as I can get it, he’s covered in blood.

O: All right, listen carefully, I’m going to tell you how to do chest compressions. Make sure he’s flat on his back, no pillows under his head, place the heel of your hand

TM: There’s no pillows under his head…

O: Nothing under his head…

TM: Ya, got it.

O: First of all, tell your daughter to go unlock the door and turn on the porch light.

TM: Go unlock the door and turn on the porch light.

O: Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone on the centre of his chest right between the nipple.

TM: I’m somewhat familiar with this.

He begins to give CPR to Mr Corbett. He is directed by the 911 operator and counts to four out loud

TM: Hold this… I’m handing the phone to my daughter.

O: All right, that’s fine. Hey, are you with me?

Molly Martens:Yes…

O: I need you to calm down so that we can help him. Okay? All right, your dad’s going to need some help pumping. I need you to get ready to pump. Okay?

MM: Okay.

O: When he gets to 200 pumps you’re going to take over.

MM: Okay.

O: I need you to stay calm.

MM: I’m certified, I just can’t think.

O: You have to stay calm, let your training take over. We need to try and do this to help him.

MM: Okay.

Ms Martens begins to pump and she repeatedly counts to four at the request of the operator

O: Are you tired? Is she pumping? You count for her if you can.

TM: I’ll count… 1, 2, 3, 4.

Both Thomas and Molly continue to count to four while Molly carries out CPR on Jason

O: She’s doing a good job.

TM: She’s a swim coach, she’s certified.

O: Yes, she said she’s certified. Her training is taking over now. You just get prepared to take over for her again. Don’t stop between. Make the change quick… she’s slowly down... Are you rested enough to take over for her?

TM: I guess I have to be.

O: ‘You’re doing good… don’t stop. Don’t freak, I need you to stay with me. Keep counting.

MM: 1,2,3,4… 1,2,3,4… 1,2,3,4.

O: All right, Tom…try and rest, you’re going to take over for your daughter again.

Molly continues to administer CPR

TM: I’m not seeing any signs of life here.

O: We’re just keeping the blood circulating, keeping the oxygen in there until we can get some air up there.

MM: 1,2,3,4… 1,2,3,4… 1,2,3,4.

O: All right, she’s slowing down, you feel like taking over for her?

TM: I’ll try.

O: What’s your name?

MM: [audibly upset and crying] Molly.

O: Listen to me, this is the count, 1, 2, 3, 4….

O: Take over for your dad.

MM: 1,2,3,4… 1,2,3,4…1,2,3,4.

TM: Looks like I got lights here.

O: All right, just keep going, don’t stop…

TM: Keep going.

O: I need you to take over the compressions because she’s going to have to do mouth-to-mouth. All right, you ready?

TM: They’re coming in now.

O: Just keep pumping, let me know when they’re right with them.

MM: 1,2,3,4… 1,2,3,4… 1,2,3,4.

TM: My daughter’s trying to…

MM: 1,2,3,4…1,2,3,4…1,2,3,4.

O: Sir?

TM: Yes?

O: All right, take your daughter and back away and let them do their job.

TM: Let them do their job.

Molly Martens can be heard crying in the background

O: Try and keep her calm, okay? You all did a good job.

TM: Molly, Molly, let them do their job. Okay, they’re here now.

O: Okay, can you take Molly out of the room?

TM: Molly, she suggests we get out of the room.

O: Okay, are you okay? I understand, as much as possible are you okay?

TM: Yea, I’m okay.

O: Law enforcement’s on their way, if there’s anything else I can do just let me know, okay?

TM: No, I need to get my daughter out of there.

O: Call us back if you need us.

TM: Molly… come on out of there.