Sunday 25 September 2016

Widow 'confessed' to her husband's killing, court told

Jason Corbett's sister said admission was made in hours after he was battered to death

Published 08/01/2016 | 02:30

Tracey Lynch. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Tracey Lynch. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Murder accused Molly Martens Corbett admitted killing her Irish husband, a US court was told.

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Ms Martens (32) is alleged to have made the admission to her sister-in-law in the hours after her husband, Jason Corbett (39), died from head injures at their home in North Carolina.

Details of the alleged admission were outlined by the deceased's sister Tracey Lynch at a court hearing last August, but could not be reported until now.

Ms Lynch's allegations were aired at a hearing held behind closed doors to decide on the guardianship of Mr Corbett's two children. Details of the alleged admission can now be disclosed after a transcript was made public by the Davidson County Superior Court.

At the hearing, Ms Lynch and her husband David successfully applied for guardianship of the children, Jack (11) and Sarah (9), in line with wishes expressed by Mr Corbett in his will.

Ms Lynch argued under questioning that the children needed protection from Ms Martens, their stepmother, who, she said, had admitted to killing her brother.

"I spoke to Molly after the event and her mother. And Molly indicated that she killed my brother," Ms Lynch testified.

Ms Martens and her father, former FBI agent Thomas Martens (65), were both charged with second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter earlier this week. Mr Martens told a 911 dispatcher he struck his son-in-law with a baseball bat during a row.

A spokesman for the two accused, Mike Earnest - who is an uncle of Ms Martens - has said both will plead not guilty to the charges and will say that they acted in self-defence.

Other sensational allegations were made by Ms Lynch at the guardianship hearing.

These included claims that Ms Martens was violent towards Jack Corbett on a number of occasions and would scream at him. It was also claimed Ms Martens would drink margaritas from a cup throughout the day, including when she was driving the children. Ms Lynch said she had told Ms Martens she was "crazy" and shouldn't be doing it.

She alleged Ms Martens was prone to bouts of erratic behaviour and had said that she suffered from bipolar disorder.

Ms Lynch also told the court Ms Martens's relationship with the children was "unhealthy for very different reasons".

"Molly was very possessive of Sarah and didn't really demonstrate a caring for Jack," she testified.

Denied

Ms Martens has denied the claims made about her behaviour.

Prior to being charged, she indicated she would appeal the guardianship order.

Police found Limerick-born Mr Corbett dead at his home in Wallburg, North Carolina in the early hours of August 2 last.

The guardianship hearing took place a fortnight later.

Both of his children were born to Mr Corbett's first wife Mags, who died in 2006.

He later formed a relationship with Tennessee-born Ms Martens after she came to work for him as an au pair.

The couple married in 2011 and moved from Ireland to North Carolina.

Irish Independent

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