Concerns for safety of Martens, says lawyer
Published 07/04/2016 | 02:30
Lawyers for Molly Martens Corbett and her father Thomas Michael Martens have told a court in the US they have concerns for the safety of their clients.
The claims were made during a remand hearing for Molly Martens Corbett (32) and former FBI agent Thomas Martens (65).
The pair have been charged with the second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter of Molly's husband, Jason Corbett (39), on August 2 last.
Limerick father-of-two Jason Corbett was bludgeoned to death at his luxury home in Panther Creek, North Carolina.
An autopsy later showed he was beaten with an aluminium baseball bat and a paving stone.
Martens Corbett and Martens have both entered pleas of not guilty, claiming self-defence and the defence of others.
During an administrative hearing yesterday at Davidson County Superior Court in Lexington, one of Molly Corbett's lawyers Walter Holton voiced concerns that his client is getting threats via social media.
Martens Corbett and Martens were each released on $200,000 bond in January.
They were ordered to give up their passports and not to contact Jason Corbett's family, including his two children, Jack (11) and Sarah (9).
Jack and Sarah are the children of Jason Corbett and his first wife, Margaret Fitzpatrick Corbett, who died in 2006.
Holton also claimed threats were made to Martens Corbett's uncle and aunt, Mike and Mona Earnest.
Defence lawyers said they also are slightly concerned that the defendants may not receive a fair trial in Davidson County.
They claim this is due to the attention the case has received locally, the problems they claim to have experienced with the Davidson County Sheriff's Office, and their motions against Davidson County Clerk of Court, Brian Shipwash.
Martens Corbett's attorneys accused the clerk of court and a lawyer representing her husband's estate with hiding unethical, secretive conversations about the case.
In a motion filed last month, Holton asked that Shipwash be removed from the case, for Shipwash to hand over all his communications about it and for a judge to re-examine decisions about the guardianship of Jack and Sarah, who are in the care of Jason Corbett's sister and brother-in-law, Tracey and David Lynch.
Within days of her husband's violent death, Martens Corbett lodged an adoption application and sought guardianship of the children. A court ultimately decided they should live with the Lynch family in Ireland after hearing evidence from Jason's sister Tracey. Martens Corbett and Martens' next court date is on May 30.