Court papers claim Jason Corbett responsible for his death

Molly Martens Corbett and her father file response to wrongful-death civil suit

In an interview with American network ABC recorded before the verdict, Molly Martens Corbett and her father, Thomas Martens, recall the night of Jason Corbett's murder. Video: ABC 20/20


Lawyers for Molly Martens Corbett and Thomas Martens, who were jailed in August for the murder of Irish man Jason Corbett, have filed court papers claiming the Limerick man was effectively responsible for his own death.

Martens Corbett and her father Tom Martens are currently serving a jail sentence of 20 to 25 years in the North Carolina Correctional Facility after they were found guilty of the second degree murder of Limerick man Jason Corbett at the couple’s home in August 2015.

Under US criminal law, second-degree murder refers to intentional but unpremeditated killing.

Last month, Corbett’s brother-in-law David Lynch filed a separate civil suit of wrongful death against Martens and her father.

Legal representatives for Martens Corbett and her father are defending the wrongful death civil suit and have also filed for retrial of their convictions based on allegations of jury misconduct and bias.

The court papers defending the wrongful death suit, were filed this week by attorneys representing Martens and claim Jason Corbett’s death “was the sole proximate result of his own unprovoked violent aggression and his deliberate attempt to kill Molly Corbett and kill or seriously injure Mr Martens”.

Dudley Witt, who represents Martens Corbett, filed similar documents on Tuesday in response to a wrongful-death lawsuit.

The court papers lodged by Martens’ legal representatives Kent Hamrick and Anne Rowe and cited in the Winston Salem Journal, say the former FBI agent was defending himself and his daughter when he struck Jason Corbett with a baseball bat.

They write that “in order to save his daughter from imminent bodily injury or death Mr Martens struck Jason Corbett with the baseball bat”.

The papers claim that “Jason Corbett then wrestled the bat away from Mr Martens and came after him with the bat without releasing Molly Corbett”.

The father and daughter have requested the venue for the wrongful-death lawsuit be transferred from Davidson County following claims of jury misconduct.

In papers filed to the court last month, the father and daughter’s lawyers claimed that social media posts and media interviews by members of the jury after the trial indicated they were biased against Martens Corbett.

They alleged that jury members held “private conversations” discussing theories on the case before retiring to deliberate on a verdict.

Social media posts, quotes from members of the jury in media articles, and transcripts from the court have been filed as exhibits in the defence’s case to have the guilty verdict set aside.