Mugshots of Molly Martens and father as they appear in court over Jason Corbett death
The wife and father-in-law of an Irish man found dead last August in his Davidson County home were ordered Tuesday to turn over their passports and to not have any contact with the man's two children.
Molly Martens Corbett, 32, and Thomas Michael Martens, 65, made their first appearance in Davidson Superior Court after they were indicted on second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. They are accused of killing Limerick native Jason Corbett, 39. He was found bludgeoned to death in his home in the Meadowlands, a golf course community in Davidson County.
Judge Theodore Royster of Davidson Superior Court advised the two of their rights and set bond for each at $200,000. Royster ordered the two to surrender within five days any passports they might have and to not have contact with any of Jason Corbett's family, including his two children. Molly Corbett was the children's stepmother and had fought unsuccessfully for custody soon after Jason Corbett died.
It appeared that the two would be released on bond later Tuesday after they finished being booked at the Davidson County Jail.
Davidson County sheriff's deputies responded to an assault call at the couple's home at 160 Panther Creek Road on Aug. 2. Thomas Martens had called 911. Deputy D. Dillard received a call from the Davidson County 911 Center and was told that Martens said he had struck Jason Corbett with a baseball bat after an argument, according to the Lexington Dispatch. When deputies arrived, they found Jason Corbett inside with head injuries.
Michael Earnest, Molly Corbett's uncle, and Thomas Martens' brother-in-law, said in a statement that Jason Corbett's death was the result of self-defense. He declined Tuesday to elaborate on that statement but said that Martens and Molly Corbett have cooperated fully with the investigation and expect to be exonerated. Earnest said that Jason Corbett's children were in the house when their father was killed. It's not clear whether the children saw anything.
Molly Corbett appeared emotional when she walked into the courtroom. Her attorneys, Walter C. Holton and Cheryl Andrews, were beside her. Her hair was pulled back and she wore a white sweater, dark gray pants and a pink vest jacket. Martens didn't show any outward emotion and wore a light-blue sweater with slacks.
Martens is a retired FBI agent and had recently worked as a counter intelligence officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. He was placed on administrative leave because of the criminal investigation into Jason Corbett's death. Michael Earnest said Martens remains on administrative leave.
It was not immediately clear when the next court date would be.