Last-minute appeal lodged in US over Corbett ruling

Children’s American step mother lodges late appeal against earlier custody ruling

Limerick man Jason Corbett (39) whose children Jack (10) and Sarah (8) Corbett  are at the centre of a custody battle.

Limerick man Jason Corbett (39) whose children Jack (10) and Sarah (8) Corbett are at the centre of a custody battle.


A brother of an Irish man killed in America has described an appeal of a custody ruling concerning his niece and nephew made in a North Carolina court, as a “sinister move” by the children’s American step mother.

Joy and relief among Jason Corbett’s extended family quickly turned to concern and worry after it emerged that Molly Martens, Jason’s second wife, had lodged a late night appeal against a decision to grant custody of Jack (10) and Sarah (8) Corbett to their paternal aunt Tracey Lynch and her husband David.

The Limerick-born children had been in the custody of their stepmother for two weeks after their father Jason Corbett (39) was found dead in the upstairs bedroom of his home in Panther Creek Court, Wallburg, North Carolina on August 2 last.

Molly Martens and her father Thomas, who is a retired FBI agent have been described by police as “persons of interest” in the case but no arrests have yet been made.

On Thursday, Judge April Woods at Davidson County Court in North Carolina dismissed the case of Ms Martens, who was seeking custody of her Irish step children.

The dismissal meant the guardianship ruling made by Brian Shipwash, Clerk of the Superior Court of North Carolina earlier this week stands, paving the way for the children to finally return to Ireland.

The guardianship order states that it’s in the children’s best interests to live with their paternal aunt Tracey Lynch and her husband David.

However, it has now emerged that Ms Martens lodged an appeal to the decision late on Thursday night.

Speaking on Limerick’s Live95fm radio today, John Corbett a brother of the late Jason Corbett said the decision to appeal was very calculating.

“It just shows you the pure callousness and coldness of the Martens family, especially Molly Martens in this desperate attempt to try and prevent my brother’s children to return to their true family because a senior family court judge decided that the long term future and care of Sarah and Jack would be the most beneficial with his true family in Ireland”.

Mr Corbett claimed there is only one reason why Ms Martens lodged the appeal.

“The only reason, the whole family feels, that Molly Martens is desperately trying to get custody of my nephew and niece is because there is a possible pending criminal prosecution against her and other members of her family for the murder of my brother. It’s a very very sinister agenda indeed.”

The families had been hoping that Jack and Sarah would be home in Limerick by the weekend, however news of the appeal means those plans have been put on hold.

Jason Corbett’s remains were repatriated to Ireland last week however his family insisted they would not bury him until his children were home.