Molly Martens and Tom Martens could be released on bail today

Killers of Limerick man Jason Corbett set for hearing amid plea deal negotiations

Molly Martens and her father Tom Martens. Photographs: Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch

Molly Martens and her father Tom Martens. Photographs: Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch

 

Molly Martens and her father Tom, the killers of Limerick man Jason Corbett, may be released from jail later on Wednesday, when a court in North Carolina holds a hearing on their applications for bail.

The Davidson County Courthouse has scheduled a hearing for 2pm to consider the next steps in the case, after their conviction for the murder of Mr Corbett, was overturned by the North Carolina supreme court last month.

Mr Corbett was found dead in his home in North Carolina in 2015. Two years later, Mr Corbett’s wife, Molly Martens Corbett, and her father Thomas Martens, were found guilty of his murder.

Molly Martens and her father, a retired FBI agent, were both convicted of second-degree murder and jailed for 20-25 years following the 2017 trial. But last month the supreme court upheld a ruling from the court of appeals in February 2020, allowing for a retrial.

However, the Davidson County district attorney is in negotiations with lawyers for the defendants about a manslaughter plea deal which would avoid a retrial taking place and ultimately see the two defendants released from prison.

The two were transported from prison to the Davidson County jail late last week.

Tracey Corbett-Lynch who won custody of her brother’s children Jack (16) and Sarah (14), said they were “devastated” at the district attorney’s decision to seek a plea bargain.

Her brother John Corbett, who works for the National Health Service in London, has written to the DA as well as US president Joe Biden expressing his “dismay” at the plea bargain offer to “two cold narcissistic individuals”.

“My many colleagues in the UK NHS health system, are also totally dismayed how two cold blooded murderers are being gifted leniency by the North Carolina Justice system,” he wrote.

“Two cold individuals who used weapons way beyond the reasonable amount of force necessary to kill someone (I have 21 years military service). Two individuals who did not have a scratch on them..(in their obscene self-defence plea). Some individuals would get five years in prison for theft.”

“We as a family, like any family in the world who have lost a family member to a brutal cowardly murder, would want normal justice. Sadly, the justice system seems, in this case, to be working for the murderers, and not for the life they have coldly taken for their own narcissistic agenda.

“It is a truly sad day as all eyes are on the inequality and injustice being played out at the moment in North Carolina.”

Molly Martens (37) moved to Ireland to look after Jason Corbett’s two children after the death of his first wife Margaret Fitzpatrick from an asthma attack. The two married in 2011 and moved to the US.

The Martens beat Jason Corbett to death with a metal baseball bat and a concrete paving brick, their trial heard.

However, they claimed they acted in self-defence after Mr Corbett tried to choke his wife.

The appeal court agreed with the defendants that evidence was not included in the 2017 trial, including statements from Jason Corbett’s two children.