Tuesday 17 July 2018

Molly Martens and her family 'receiving threats on social media', lawyers for wife of Jason Corbett say

Jason Corbett and his wife Molly Martens Corbett
Jason Corbett and his wife Molly Martens Corbett

Jordan Howse

Lawyers for Molly Martens Corbett and her father Thomas Michael Martens are concerned about the safety of their clients and family.

Molly Corbett (32) and Thomas Martens (65) were charged with second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter on August 2 last year over the death of Molly’s husband, Jason Paul Corbett.

Jason Corbett was bludgeoned to death at his home in Wallburg with an aluminium baseball bat and a paving stone, an autopsy showed.

Corbett and Martens entered pleas of not guilty, claiming self-defence and the defence of others.

Molly Martens Corbett pleaded not guilty to murdering her husband Jason Corbett
Molly Martens Corbett pleaded not guilty to murdering her husband Jason Corbett

During an administrative hearing Wednesday at Davidson County Superior Court in Lexington, one of Molly Corbett’s lawyers, Walter Holton voiced concerns that his client Molly Corbett is getting threats via social media.

Molly Corbett and Martens were each released on $200,000 bond in January and were ordered to give up their passports and to not have any contact with Jason Corbett’s family including his two children, Jack and Sarah.

Jack and Sarah are the children of Jason Corbett and his first wife, Margaret Fitzpatrick Corbett, who died in 2006.

Molly Corbett’s second lawyer, Cheryl Andrews, said that the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office may have seen and used information that is inadmissible because of attorney/client privilege.

When the Sheriff’s office began it’s investigation in August, search warrants included getting emails from Corbett and Marten’s Google accounts.

Google sent that information in several discs, said assistant district attorney Allen Martin to Judge Kevin Bridges who presided over the hearing.

Accused: Thomas Martens. Photo: Winston-Salem Journal
Accused: Thomas Martens. Photo: Winston-Salem Journal

Some of the emails were printed and both the hard copies and discs were submitted to discovery, Martin said. Some emails were addressed to and from Freedman and lawyers in charge of Corbett’s estate and civil cases. The state and defence lawyers agreed that information obtained from the privileged emails will be removed from discovery. Bridges agreed as well.

Andrews also voiced concern that some reports from the sheriff’s office last month were dated in August.

“Why didn’t we get these with the rest of the reports from August?” she asked.

 Freedman said they have extended openness to the sheriff’s office and he hopes he can expect the same from them.

“We’ve had Tom and Molly available for interviews and they haven’t interviewed them,” Freedman said. “We said there wasn’t any need for search warrants because we’ll give them any information they want but they went and executed all these warrants.”

Assistant district attorneys met with investigators from the sheriff’s office after the Wednesday’s hearing to discuss what information had been seen and used during the investigation and why there was a discrepancy in the report dates.

Defence lawyers said they also are slightly concerned that they may not receive a fair trial in Davidson County because of the attention the case has gotten locally, the problems with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office and their motions against Davidson County Clerk of Court Brian Shipwash.

Molly Corbett attorneys accused the clerk of court and a lawyer representing her husband’s estate with hiding unethical, secretive conversations about the case.

In a motion filed last month, Holton asked that Shipwash be removed from the case, for Shipwash to hand over all his communications about it and for a judge to re-examine decisions about the guardianship of Jack and Sarah, who are in the care of Jason Corbett’s sister and brother in law, Tracey and David Lynch.

Molly Corbett and Martens’ next court date is May 30.

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