Friday 20 April 2018

Corbetts upset over delays in US murder trial

Family upset that case continues to rumble on

Couple: Jason Corbett with his wife, Molly Martens Corbett
Couple: Jason Corbett with his wife, Molly Martens Corbett

Wayne o'Connor

An outcome in the murder trial of slain Limerick man Jason Corbett is unlikely to be delivered until next year as defence lawyers continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding his killing.

Mr Corbett's family had been hopeful that the trial would be completed in the US before Christmas this year.

Lawyers are due to attend an administrative hearing relating to the case early next month but legal representatives in the US have said they are not certain if this hearing will even take place - more than one year after Mr Corbett's death.

Sources close to the Corbett family confirmed last week that the family had hoped the murder trial would be brought forward to August 8 as they look to come to terms with his death.

They said the family are growing increasingly upset and fatigued by the ongoing saga surrounding his death as the first anniversary approaches.

An August trial will now not happen as the North Carolina District Attorney will not begin considering setting a date for the trial until August at the earliest.

Thomas Martens
Thomas Martens

Read more: Molly Martens defence team: Children saw slain Jason Corbett 'punch and hit her'

Mr Corbett's widow, Molly Martens Corbett, and her father, Thomas Martens, were both charged with the Limerick man's murder earlier this year.

They now face a criminal trial after a grand jury indicted both with second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

A defence lawyer in the case, Walter Holton, told the Sunday Independent that his team still had some way to go before they would be prepared to go to trial.

He said they were liaising with the local district attorney and that a date would be set when all sides were ready.

"We are eager to get to trial in the case but we also have a number of things to do," said Mr Holton.

"We want to be thorough and certain that we have added excess to the evidence available. We want to have interviewed everyone who needs to be interviewed," said Mr Holton.

"Yes, we are eager to have a trial of the case but we want to be sure that a thorough investigation has been carried out."

He added that it was likely to be some time before a trial was run.

"It could be (during 2017). I don't know when it will be yet but that is possible.

"The trial date will actually be agreed between the district attorney's office and our office and we have not come to a date yet."

Read more: Molly Martens Corbett granted stay on judge's estate ruling

Jason Corbett, a businessman from Limerick city, was found with catastrophic head injuries at his home in North Carolina last August.

His father-in-law told a police dispatcher that he had hit Mr Corbett with a baseball bat.

He claimed that he was trying to defend his daughter at the time.

Detectives investigating the case recovered a baseball bat and a paving stone from the scene.

Sunday Independent

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