Tuesday 17 July 2018

Convicted murderer Molly Martens has had her hair cut and dyed in prison against her will, her brother claims

Molly and Conor Martens weeks before the trial
Molly and Conor Martens weeks before the trial
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE BROTHER of convicted murderer Molly Martens (33) claimed she has been stripped of all dignity in a high-security US prison.

Connor Martens posted details of his sister's prison regime and a photograph taken of her just weeks before her murder conviction as part of his family's campaign to have the case quashed and retried.

The post was on a GoGetFunding page set up by Ms Martens' aunt, Mona Earnest, which aims to raise finances to support the appeal and legal costs of the young Tennessee woman and her father, retired FBI agent Thomas Martens (67).

Ms Martens is three weeks into a minimum 20 year sentence for the second degree murder of her husband and Irish businessman Jason Corbett (39).

Mr Corbett was battered to death in the bedroom of his North Carolina home on August 2 2015.

He died from horrific head injuries inflicted by a metal baseball bat and a concrete paving brick. His skull was effectively crushed by at least 12 blows.

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’.

Thomas Martens was also convicted by a Davidson County jury on August 9 last of the second degree murder of the Limerick father of two.

The father and daughter claimed they acted only in self defence but both were totally uninjured at the scene.

Read More: Molly and Tom Martens' family 'take campaign to the streets' ahead of appeal over Jason Corbett murder

Both confirmed on the day of their convictions that they would appeal.

Their legal teams have now flagged twin-tracked challenges - an appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeal and an application to Davidson County Superior Court for the conviction to be set aside and a retrial ordered on the basis of alleged juror misconduct.

Both challenges are being contested by the Davidson County District Attorneys Office.

A picture of Molly and Thomas Martens from the fundraising page
A picture of Molly and Thomas Martens from the fundraising page

Now, Ms Martens' brother, Connor, has posted details of how his sister has allegedly been treated in the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women since she was taken into custody on August 9.

"This picture was taken a month before the trial at a wedding I took Molly Martens Corbett to in Charleston," Connor Martens wrote.

"As you can imagine it was difficult to escape the anxiety of 12 strangers determining your life, but we never could have imagined what has happened."

"Upon entering prison on August 9, she was not given shower shoes or a tooth brush for the first nine days."

Molly Martens is now an inmate of North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women.
Molly Martens is now an inmate of North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women.

Read More: Molly Martens' aunt pleads with Barack Obama to 'help right this terrible injustice'

"This prevented her from showering and obviously brushing her teeth. There is no air conditioning."

"Over 15 people have passed out in her short time there. There are no activities. On rare occasions, she gets to go outside only to be reprimanded for walking too fast in her attempt to get exercise."

"Her hair has been dyed and cut against her will stripping her of any external dignity she may have had left."

"With all of that said, this post isn't about the conditions of the North Carolina Correctional Facility. It isn't just about domestic abuse. It isn't about the ineptitude of a rural county investigation or the prosecution preventing evidence from being presented."

"It isn't even about whether they're guilty or innocent. At this point, it is about every American and their right to a fair trial. The jury has gone before a national audience and made a mockery of our judicial system."

Molly Martens
Molly Martens

Mr Martens levelled serious concerns about the conviction and the post-trial comments by jurors.

Both the Martens and Earnest families have vowed to fight to have the convictions overturned with Michael Earnest describing the unanimous guilty verdicts as "the most atrocious miscarriage of justice I have ever been a part of."

Connor Martens urged every US citizen to read his post.

"This isn't just about my family," he said.

His aunt has also attempted to raise the case via social media with former US President Barack Obama.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News