Tuesday 12 December 2017

Martens appeals court order seeking return of Jason's belongings

Jason Corbett and his wife Molly Martens Corbett
Jason Corbett and his wife Molly Martens Corbett
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

An American woman charged with the murder of her Irish husband has appealed a judge's order directing her to return personal belongings.

Molly Martens Corbett (32) has been given a deadline of April 6 to return items removed from the North Carolina home she shared with her slain husband, Limerick man Jason Corbett (39).

However, court records show she has now lodged an appeal, claiming the judge who made the order abused his discretion.

The appeal is the latest twist in an increasingly bitter row between Ms Martens and Mr Corbett's family, which has involved disputes over the custody of his children and the contents of his estate since his violent death last August.

As well as appealing the order made by the clerk of the Davidson County Superior Court, Brian Shipwash, Ms Martens has filed a motion asking for him to be removed from the case.

Mr Shipwash is an elected official who holds judicial functions in guardianship and other family law matters.

In a filing seen by the Irish Independent, a lawyer for Ms Martens claimed Mr Shipwash's order for the return of the belongings was not supported by evidence.

"The conclusions of law are not supported by the findings of fact," the lawyer claimed.

"Additionally, this order constitutes an abuse of discretion by the clerk."

It is not yet clear when the appeal will be heard.

Ms Martens and her father, former FBI agent Thomas Martens (65), are both free on bail having been charged with second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

They have denied the charges and have insisted they acted in self-defence.

In a recorded 911 call, Mr Martens was heard telling a dispatcher he struck Mr Corbett with a baseball bat. He claimed he had no choice as the Irishman was choking his daughter.

However, a police detective's report said the scene of the row was "not consistent" with the account given.

Following Mr Corbett's death, Ms Martens was involved in a bruising battle over the guardianship of her late husband's two children from a previous marriage.

However, she lost and the children are now being cared for by Mr Corbett's sister Tracey Lynch and her husband David in Limerick.

Irish Independent

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