Wednesday 22 November 2017

'He didn't deserve that, he was a good husband' - Jason Corbett's Irish mother-in-law shock at Martens' claims

Jason Corbett and Molly Martens Corbett on their wedding day
Jason Corbett and Molly Martens Corbett on their wedding day
White wedding: Molly Martens and Jason Corbett on their wedding day
Molly Martens and her father are expected to plead guilty to charges in the coming weeks, with a trial expected before the end of 2016
Thomas Martens at court. Photo: Winston-Salem Journal

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Jason Corbett's former Irish mother-in-law has spoken of her anguish at hearing the recording of the 911 call placed by Thomas Martens, who told the dispatcher he may have killed the Limerick man.

Marian Fitzpatrick, whose daughter Mags was married to Jason until she died suddenly in 2006, has said that claims he was choking Molly Martens when he was killed are very upsetting.

Mrs Fitzpatrick told the Sunday World the father-of-two was "a gentle giant".

Jason's second wife Molly Martens (31) and her father Thomas Martens (65) were this week charged with second degree murder and manslaughter, however their family claim that the pair were acting in self defence when Jason was killed with a baseball bat and a paving stone in the early hours of August 2, 2015.

Molly Martens and her father are expected to plead guilty to charges in the coming weeks, with a trial expected before the end of 2016
Molly Martens and her father are expected to plead guilty to charges in the coming weeks, with a trial expected before the end of 2016

Mrs Fitzpatrick said that members of her family are finding it hard to listen to details of Jason's death.

"They are talking about my son-in-law and it sounds like they are talking about a stranger.

"I hope justice is done and they are punished for what they done to Jason.

"He didn't deserve that, he was a good husband," she said.

Mrs Fitzpatrick also expressed her relief that charges have been brought against Thomas and Molly Martens, describing Jason's death as a "tragedy".

However, she said that the claims of self defence do not make sense to her.

"They are talking about a different person to what I knew.

"I don't believe it at all," she said.

Mrs Fitzpatrick recounted visiting Jason and her grandchildren in the United States three or four years ago.

She believes Jason was homesick and wanted to bring his children back to Ireland.

The children are currently living in Limerick with Jason's sister Tracey Lynch and her husband David. She said they are showered with love by all their relations.

She said her daughter and the slain Limerick man were childhood sweethearts, soul mates and had a happy marriage.

Mags Corbett, who ran her own business, died of an asthma attack in November 2006 when her two children, Jack and Sarah were very young.

Mrs Fitzpatrick described Jason as a "people person", with a beautiful smile who never raised his voice.

She said that the doting father idolised his children and everything he did was for them.

Molly Martens and Jason met after he employed her as an au pair to care for his children.

The pair married in 2011 but Jason would not allow her to adopt his two children.

Meanwhile, affidavits show how detectives carried out their investigation, mixing long-established investigative techniques with newer forms of inquiry, including tracking information stored by Google and Facebook and a number of banks, as part of the probe.

Read More: Police were called in when children were taken from Martens

Conversations between Molly and her father are said to be crucial to the investigation.

The police documents reveal that Jason was planning a trip to Ireland at the end of August 2015.

It is believed the purpose of the trip was to move him and the children home permanently.

In preparation for that trip, Mr Corbett (39) had discussed transferring $60,000 (€55,200) from US bank accounts to his home bank in Ireland.

Documents show that Jason was also worried about his wife's spending habits shortly before he was killed.

It is also claimed murder accused Molly Martens Corbett removed large sums of money from joint accounts after his death.

These details, among others, helped police to draft a 14-point affidavit to establish probable cause for the murder case.

On the night of August 2 Thomas Martens and his wife Sharon Martens were staying at the Corbett family home.

The documents state that police were told in interviews with the accused parties that Jason was choking his wife Molly in their bedroom in the early hours of the morning.

Read More: Police files paint volatile nature of Molly Martens

Thomas Martens was allegedly woken by the commotion and proceeded to strike his son-in-law on the head with a baseball bat.

The former FBI agent told investigating police that it was an uncontrolled fight but police notes that neither Thomas Martens nor Molly Martens suffered any injuries.

Jason died of catastrophic injuries to his head, shoulder, torso, legs and arms.

An investigating detective noted in the case documents that the struggle described was not consistent with the evidence at the scene, particularly the master bedroom.

Detectives also recorded the fact that the Martens family suddenly changed their plans on August 1, and decided to travel to North Carolina from their home in Knoxville which was considered unusual for Thomas Martens.

The police documents further state that Jason had expressed the intention of not inviting his wife on the upcoming trip to Ireland and that he and the children would not be returning to the US.

Molly Martens and Thomas Martens are currently on bail and are expected to plead not guilty to charges in the coming weeks, with a trial expected before the end of 2016.

Online Editors

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