Martens pair to serve sentences in prisons six minutes apart

Appeals of Jason Corbett’s wife and father-in-law likely to be heard in next 18 months

Molly Martens Corbett and her father Thomas Martens will serve their 20-25-year prison sentences just six minutes down the road from each other in Raleigh, North Carolina.

On Wednesday, a jury in North Carolina found the pair guilty of the second-degree murder of Limerick man Jason Corbett. The two attorneys representing Martens Corbett (33) and her father Thomas Martens (67) have both indicated they will be appealing the guilty verdict of the Davidson county court.

Following the verdict, the father and daughter were transported from the rural Davidson county region to Raleigh, the state’s capital city, in a journey which took 1½ hours.

Davidson county sheriff David Grice confirmed Martens Corbett and her father would both be placed in prison facilities in central Raleigh, a little more than 3km apart. They will remain in prison while appealing their cases.


Martens Corbett will be transferred to North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women to serve her prison sentence. The facility is the largest women’s prison in the US state, and houses minimum to maximum security inmates, including three women who are on death row.

When sentencing Martens Corbett on Wednesday the judge recommended she receive psychiatric treatment in prison. Upon her arrival at the women’s correctional institute, she will undergo a series of physical and mental examinations to determine her treatment plan and housing location in the facility.

Martens will serve his sentence in North Carolina Central Prison, Raleigh, which is a “close custody” or maximum security prison. Inmates at the facility are placed under close supervision. The facility is surrounded by two consecutive razor wire fences, and houses around 750 inmates. Men on death row prisoners in the state are detained at the prison.


Davidson county District Attorney Garry Frank said Martens Corbett and her father should expect their appeal to be brought before the North Carolina Court of Appeals in the next 12-18 months.

Defendants found guilty normally have between 60 and 90 days to file for appeal in the US state, he said.The appeal will be heard in the North Carolina Court of Appeals, by a panel of three judges.

Mr Frank said after the minimum amount of 20 years had been served either Martens Corbett or her father could apply for parole. The parole commission would take into account the “conduct of prisoners, good behaviour, and work done in prison” when deciding on each prisoner’s case, he said.

The District Attorney’s office released pictures from the crime scene, which show blood splattered on the walls and floors of the room in which Mr Corbett was killed, as well as the baseball bat and brick used to kill the Limerick man.

Photos taken of the two defendants showing the lack of any visible injuries were also released. All the photographs had been entered into court as an exhibit and were seen by the jury.

The foreman of the jury Tom Aamland has said that a key piece of evidence which led jurors to convict father and daughter was the presence of the brick, or cement “paver”, on the nightstand in the bedroom.

“There was a concern about [the paver],” Mr Aamland said. “No explanation about why it was there, when we went in for deliberations, that was the first question everybody had in their mind. Why was it there? Why was there a paver in the bedroom? Why was it on the nightstand? It was just a strange thing to see.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times