Sunday 22 April 2018

Jason asleep as Molly attacked, jurors believed

Evidence from the case – the brick kept on a nightstand table
Evidence from the case – the brick kept on a nightstand table
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Two jurors in the murder trial of Jason Corbett said they believe the Irishman was sleeping in bed when he was first struck by his wife.

Davidson County juror Miriam Figueroa told US TV network ABC she believed Molly Martens-Corbett struck her husband first with the paving stone while he was sleeping.

"I think at some point Dad [Thomas Michael Martens] came to help out and cover it up," Ms Figueroa said.

"There was blood on the pillow and on the comforter. That may have been the first blow, and then it progressed from that point where he got out of bed and she might have struck him more than one time in bed."

Jury foreman Tom Aamland said he believed the extensive blood impact spatter marks were from the Irish father-of-two desperately trying to escape the attack.

Martens-Corbett and her father, retired FBI agent Martens (67), were both convicted of second-degree murder. They were this week sentenced to minimum prison terms of 20 years each for the killing on August 2, 2015.

Walter Holton, Martens-Corbett's lawyer, confirmed she is to appeal the conviction.

But he defended, in an interview with ABC for their top-rated '20/20' programme, the fact that, unlike her father, she opted not to give sworn testimony in her defence.

"Why? What burden of proof do we have? That is not the way the system works - it is not up to us to prove innocence."

While both the father and daughter argued they acted in self-defence, both were found to be uninjured at the scene.

Mr Corbett suffered his fatal injuries from a metal baseball bat and a garden paving brick.

Three of the jurors told ABC they believed the self-defence story was simply a cover-up.

"The evidence to me did not suggest that the story that was fabricated ever occurred," juror Ms Figueroa said.

"There was no doubt in my mind that I made and my fellow jurors made the right choice."

"To me, the choking did not occur," she added.

Mr Aamland and another juror, Nancy Perez, agreed. Ms Perez said the first image of Mr Corbett's body she saw was so graphic that she vomited in the North Carolina courtroom.

The three jurors said they believe Martens-Corbett and her father took some time after Mr Corbett died to conspire before they called 911, and they said the prosecution's argument that the accused didn't appear to have any injuries was telling.

Ms Figueroa and Ms Perez also said they made notes about what triggered the accused's emotions - and what didn't.

"Yes. Every time that they would talk about the kids, I was like, 'Molly's crying'.

"They'd show the pictures of her husband and his skull, 'Molly doesn't seem to be affected'," said Ms Perez.

Irish Independent

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