Monday 19 March 2018

'Molly just flipped and completely lost control at her wedding' - Jason Corbett's sister

Molly Martens (left) walks with a member of her legal team as they arrive at the courthouse. Photo: Winston-Salem Journal
Molly Martens (left) walks with a member of her legal team as they arrive at the courthouse. Photo: Winston-Salem Journal
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

MURDER accused Molly Martens Corbett has been portrayed as a violent fantasist who was anxious to leave her husband but desperate to keep custody of his children.

A sister of her slain husband Jason Corbett (39) has alleged Ms Martens (32) engaged in a series of incidents involving violence against her young stepson Jack. Tracey Lynch also claimed the murder accused confided to a family friend she "wanted to leave Jason because she did not love him any more and did not care what happened to him".

It was claimed Ms Martens said she had "reconnected with an old boyfriend on Facebook".

However, she could not bring herself to leave because she had no rights to her husband's two children from a previous marriage.

Mrs Lynch said her brother made a deliberate decision to keep his Irish passport and those of the children because of "his concerns" about his wife. It is also claimed by Mrs Lynch in court papers that Ms Martens had a long history of lying, claiming she was an Olympic swimmer, a teacher, a foster parent to a six-year-old boy and a book editor.

Read more: Widow 'confessed' to her husband's killing, court told

Jason Corbett and Molly Martens. Photo: Brendan Gleeson
Jason Corbett and Molly Martens. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

Mrs Lynch alleged Ms Martens would drink alcoholic margaritas throughout the day from a cup, including when she was driving Mr Corbett's young children.

It was claimed the beverage was so strong that when Mrs Lynch tried one, she later had to be helped to bed and was ill for two days.

The shocking claims are contained in affidavits and transcripts released by a court in the US.

Tennessee-born Ms Martens and her father Thomas (65) are facing a murder trial after Limerick man Mr Corbett was beaten to death at his home in North Carolina last August. The documents reveal how Ms Martens was anxious to formally adopt Mr Corbett's two children from his first marriage, Jack (11) and Sarah (9), but he refused to allow it.

After his violent death, Mrs Lynch and her husband David secured guardianship of the children following a legal battle against Ms Martens. As part of the case, Mrs Lynch's lawyers filed an affidavit making several allegations about Ms Martens' conduct, including claims of erratic, violent and deceitful behaviour.

One document said Ms Martens had told many of her friends in the US she had been penpals with Mr Corbett's first wife Mags, who died suddenly in 2006.

Mrs Lynch said she "became aware of this lie" when she attended her brother's wedding to Ms Martens, his family's former au pair, in 2011.

She alleged during a court hearing that "Molly flipped out at the wedding and completely lost control and began screaming at Jason and at my husband... She threw her chief bridesmaid and her parents out of the wedding."

She is said to have been upset because a guest was allergic to some of the wedding banquet meal and went to get a McDonald's instead.

Ms Martens is said to have told Mrs Lynch she was bipolar and had experienced numerous miscarriages over a number of years.

A family friend is alleged to have seen her engage in self-harming behaviour, "such as hitting herself while curled up in a ball".

It was claimed Ms Martens was obsessed with having the stepchildren call her "mom".

"Jack resisted and was punished for resisting," one affidavit claimed.

Read more: AUDIO: Molly Martens dad's chilling 911 call: 'He's bleeding all over. I may have killed him'

It said Ms Martens had been observed over a number of years exhibiting volatile behaviour and explosive anger, especially towards her stepson. It is alleged Ms Martens became violent during a family outing in 2012 after Jack splashed her with water while playing.

"She yanked him up under her arm and with some force brought him into the kitchen. And she turned on the faucet... and put him under the tap where the water was running over his face," Mrs Lynch alleged. "Jason ran in to try and intervene and Molly pushed him away. We were all shouting at her to stop. And she was shouting: 'Now you'll think twice about splashing water on me'."

The following year, during a holiday in Co Clare, it was claimed Ms Martens told the youngster to paddle his surf board into an unsafe zone in the water. "She said he needed to learn a lesson," Mrs Lynch testified. On a further occasion it is alleged she was seen pulling the boy out of his bed while he was asleep "with an expression of utter rage" on her face.

It was claimed Ms Martens was "extremely possessive" of Sarah, to the extent where she wouldn't allow Mrs Lynch to hold the child's hand during an outing to the museum.

"There was regular conflict and Molly was very erratic in terms of she would lose control quite quickly and equally be very calm in a short period of time.

"It was very distressing. It was disconcerting," Mrs Lynch told a court hearing.

As part of her bail conditions, Ms Martens is prohibited from contacting the two children.

She had denied claims about her behaviour, calling allegations against her "slander, harassment, lies and absolute utter corruption."

Irish Independent

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