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Friday 24 February 2017

Jason Corbett killing: wife is charged with murder of dad of two

Wayne O'Connor and Alan O'Keeffe

Jason and Molly at a charity dinner in 2009. Picture: Brendan Gleeson
Jason and Molly at a charity dinner in 2009. Picture: Brendan Gleeson

The widow and father-in-law of slain Irishman Jason Corbett have been charged with his murder in the US.

Mr Corbett (41), a father-of-two from Limerick city, was allegedly beaten to death with a baseball bat at his home in North Carolina on August 2 2015.

His wife Molly Martens and her father Thomas Martens face a criminal trial after a Grand Jury indicted both with second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Davidson County Assistant District Attorney Greg Brown last night told the Irish Independent the Grand Jury's indictments were unsealed yesterday and the lawyer representing the two defendants was informed.

"Second degree murder means killing with malice and voluntary manslaughter means killing without malice. The Grand Jury found that there was sufficient probable cause for each of the charges," said Mr Brown. "It is expected they will appear on the charges before a judge this week."

Mr Corbett's children - Jack (11) and Sarah (10), whose mother Mags died from an asthma attack in 2006 - were placed in the custody of his sister Treacy Lynch following a prolonged legal battle with Ms Martens.

Mrs Lynch last night thanked investigators and told the Irish Independent: "We want all of the facts to go in front of a jury so that we can all know the truth. We continue to grieve over the murder of Jason."

"Jason's children are doing well given what has happened. We are thankful that they are in Ireland, surrounded by loving family," they added.

Assistant District Attorney Brown said bail and other matters will be dealt with during the court appearance this week.

It is expected that the trial will begin later this year, he said. "In the next day or so, the sheriff's department will be expected to process matters which will include finger printing and taking photographs of them.

"Their lawyer was contacted by the district attorney's office and he would have been asked to ascertain when he will make his clients available to come to court so that bail can be set and other matters dealt with," he said.

Ms Martens (31) and her father, a 65-year-old former FBI investigator, were questioned several times by police following Mr Corbett's killing but were never named as suspects.

Last night Ms Martens posted a statement on her Facebook page claiming "the truth doesn't matter". "I cannot believe the level of slander, harassment, lies and absolute utter corruption," she posted. "The truth does not matter. Shouldn't the truth matter? Shouldn't the truth prevail? Doesn't anyone care about the truth?"

However, the Justice for Jason Facebook page welcomed the indictment and said their confidence and trust in the Davidson County Sheriffs Department & the District Attorney has been reaffirmed.

"When some disbelieved or questioned the killing of an innocent man, we always knew Jason for who he really was, a loving father, husband, son, brother and friend," Corbett family supporters wrote.

"A kind man who lived his life with integrity and generosity of spirit."

Irish Independent

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