Friday 14 December 2018

Fundraising appeal for murderer Molly Martens fails to reach target as explosive new book to be published this weekend

Molly Martens-Corbett. Photo: Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch
Molly Martens-Corbett. Photo: Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch

Ralph Riegel

A fundraising appeal in aid of a US father and daughter serving 20 year prison sentences for the brutal murder of an Irish businessman has raised just 7pc of its $300,000 total.

Launched almost three months ago, the GoGetFunding appeal in aid of Thomas Martens (67) and his daughter, Molly Martens Corbett (33) has raised just $21,187 - despite repeated appeals by its founder, Mona Earnest, sister-in-law to Mr Martens and aunt of Ms Martens Corbett.

Molly Martens Corbett (Photo: North Carolina Prison Service)
Molly Martens Corbett (Photo: North Carolina Prison Service)

The revelation came as the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent are this weekend publishing a free detailed two-part book on the dramatic North Carolina trial entitled: 'Molly Martens - the making of a murderer.'

Mrs Earnest has headlined the special fundraising appeal page as: "Right the Wrong -Help Molly and Tom."

However, the page lists the last donation as being made almost a month ago, on October 9.

To date, a total of just 134 backers have registered.

Molly Martens-Corbett with husband Jason: Unheard evidence ‘will prove she acted in self-defence’.
Molly Martens-Corbett with husband Jason: Unheard evidence ‘will prove she acted in self-defence’.

That is despite regular postings on the page by Mrs Earnest and even a posting by Ms Martens Corbett's brother who spoke of his upset at his sister's prison treatment.

Mrs Earnest also posted a tribute to Mr Martens entitled: "Bravery."

"Courageous behavior or character, valor, nerve, daring, fearlessness, heroism, backbone, showing up, saying "no" when you know you need to so that you can "yes" to the right things, it's having the courage to stay the course and do the right thing even when it feels like you're swimming upstream, it's being the dad - no matter the cost," she posted.

Ms Martens Corbett (33) and her father, retired FBI agent Thomas Martens (67), were convicted on August 9 in North Carolina of the second degree murder of Jason Corbett (39) in 2015.

They were unanimously convicted by a Davidson County Superior Court jury of nine women and three men following a four week trial which dominated headlines in both the US and Ireland.

Both are now challenging the Davidson County Superior Court verdict after they alleged juror misconduct.

Molly and her brother Connor attended a wedding in Charleston a month before the second degree murder trial
Molly and her brother Connor attended a wedding in Charleston a month before the second degree murder trial

They are also challenging their convictions with a case lodged with the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the State's highest appeal court.

The father and daughter are now serving sentences of between 20 and 25 years in separate North Carolina prisons.

Mr Corbett died from horrific head injuries sustained during a prolonged assault at the luxury home at Panther Creek Court in the US state he shared with his Tennessee-born wife.

The weapons used were a metal baseball bat and a heavy concrete paving brick.

Mr Corbett was pronounced dead at the scene and prosecutors claimed during the murder trial that the father and daughter faked CPR attempts and then deliberately delayed calling 911 for help for the father of two.

It was also suggested that Mr Corbett may have been asleep and helpless in bed when he was first attacked.

During the second degree murder trial, the father and daughter claimed they acted entirely in self defence.

However, both were found to be totally uninjured at the scene.

In contrast, Mr Corbett's skull had been crushed after he sustained a minimum of 12 blows from a metal baseball bat and a concrete garden paving brick.

His skull was so badly crushed that a pathologist could not determine the precise number of blows he had sustained.

It also emerged during the trial that traces of a powerful sedative, Trazodone, which had been prescribed to Ms Martens Corbett three days before the killing, had been found in her husband's system.

Mr Corbett had repeatedly declined to sign adoption papers in favour of Ms Martens Corbett, his second wife, involving his two Irish-born children.

The Limerick man lost his first wife, Margaret 'Mags' Fitzpatrick, the mother of the two children, to a tragic asthma attack when she was just 30.

'Molly Martens - the making of a murderer' is free with copies of Saturday's Irish Independent and the Sunday Independent this weekend.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News