Friday 17 November 2017

Wife accused of killing Irishman fails in custody bid for children

Molly Martens with her late husband, Jason Corbett.
Molly Martens with her late husband, Jason Corbett.

Michael Hewlett

The children of Jason Corbett, an Irish businessman bludgeoned to death in the US last year, will stay with their aunt and uncle in Ireland, according to a ruling by a court in North Carolina.

The appeals court in that state upheld a decision by Davidson District Court Judge April Wood, who dismissed a custody request by the children's stepmother, Molly Martens-Corbett.

She and her father, former FBI agent Thomas Martens, are to face trial for the Limerick man's murder.

Superior Court Clerk Brian Shipwash had already named Tracey and David Lynch, the children's aunt and uncle, as the permanent guardians of the children, Sarah and Jack.

The children's mother, Margaret Fitzpatrick Corbett, died in November 2006 of a sudden asthma attack, and Jason Corbett had said in his will that he wanted the Lynchs to be the children's guardians if he should die.

Molly Corbett moved to Ireland in 2008 to be an au pair to the children and married Jason Corbett in 2011.

They then moved to Davidson County.

Mr Corbett was found bludgeoned to death on August 2, 2015, in his house in Meadowlands, a golf course community in Davidson County.


In January, Molly Marten-Corbett and her father were charged with second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter in Jason Corbett's death.

No trial date has yet been set in the matter.

The two accused are claiming self-defence.

Mr Corbett (39) died of blunt-force trauma to the head and multiple cuts and skull fractures, according to a post-mortem.

His wife hit him with a baseball bat and a paving stone, according to search warrants, and his father-in-law told authorities that he struck Mr Corbett because he was choking his daughter.

His wife had requested guardianship and custody of the children soon after Mr Corbett's death. According to court papers, she had sought to adopt the children, but her husband had refused.

The appeals court ruled that Judge Wood was right to dismiss the custody request because it was moot after Mr Shipwash made a decision on guardianship. Guardianship included custody because the children no longer had living parents.

This story originally appeared on

Irish Independent

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