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Sunday 27 May 2018

‘You are my heart and soul’ – Molly Martens Corbett pens tribute hours after being charged with husband’s murder

David Raleigh

The widow of Irishman Jason Corbett has penned an online tribute just hours after she and her father were charged with the Limerick man’s murder.

Molly Martens Corbett wrote on Facebook posted today that: “I have loved, nurtured and protected you to the best of my ability in the environment we found ourselves. I do not know what you will remember about our lives but I know some of the things you are being told.

“I pray one day you are able to remember with truth and clarity some of the events of our lives.

She finished the message with: “You are my heart and soul, my sunshine and my happy, and I will always love you.”

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

Last night it was revealed that the widow and father-in-law of slain Limerick man Jason Corbett, who was allegedly beaten to death with a baseball bat at his home in the US, are to face trial charged with his murder.

Earlier today, an uncle of Molly Martens has said that the “actions of self-defense”  taken by her and her father Thomas Martens were “completely necessary and justified” and he was confident that the pair would be “exonerated” in the trial of the death of Jason Corbett.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Mr Michael Earnest said he was disappointed that the pair were indicted by a grand jury but was confident that the pair would get justice.

In his interview this morning, Mr Michael Earnest said there were "no finer people you would care to meet" than the Martens.

"The actions of self-defense that Molly and Thomas took on the morning of August 2 were completely necessary and justified.

"The family is extremely disappointed in the grand jury's action but we have complete faith and believe firmly in the sanctity of the justice system."

"Tom has dedicated his entire adult life to law enforcement and believes firmly in the justice system.

"Both Tom and Molly have cooperated fully with the investigation and made themselves available at every step of the way."

"Once the events of Aug 2nd are presented they will be exonerated.

"They will be cooperating fully with the US justice system.

"I'm a member of law enforcement and I know that when a member of law enforcement achieves an indictment that is something they feel some results about."

However, a source close to the Corbett family said they are "unhappy" over US legal procedures, after it emerged Ms Martens and her father Thomas Martens, have not been placed in custody.

They are instead to appear in court by appointment to be officially indicted for trial.

Thomas Michael Martens, 65, is a former FBI investigator.

Davidson County Assistant District Attorney Greg Brown confirmed yesterday that a grand jury indicted Ms Martens, 31, and her father, with second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Mr Corbett, a father of two from Limerick city, was found dead at his home in a North Carolina on August 2 last after he sustained serious head injuries.

Following his death Ms Martens and her father were questioned several times by police but up until now had not been named as suspects.

"It was an extremely thorough investigation," Davidson County Sheriff Grice told online news station

"We are pleased with the decision of the grand jury," Sheriff Grice said.

According to a police incident report, deputies responded to the Corbetts' residence just after 3am on August 2, 2015.

Deputy C.S. Dagenhardt wrote in a report that while Deputy D. Dillard was in route to an assault at 160 Panther Creek Court, the Davidson County 911 Center advised a 911 caller had been in an argument with his son-in-law and struck him with a baseball bat.

The two policemen arrived at the address and found Mr Corbett inside the home with head injuries.

Mr Corbett's children - Jack (11) and Sarah (10) - whose mother Mags died from an asthma attack, were placed in the custody of his sister Treacy Lynch, following a prolonged legal battle with Ms Martens.

A 'Star Wars' fundraiser in Limerick last month raised thousands of euro to go towards the 'Jason's Journey' charity - set up by Mr Corbett's family, after they were hit with legal bills of over €130,000 following the custody battle in the US.

A Davidson County Superior Court judge upheld a decision on December 8th last of a District Court judge who reviewed the order of guardianship of two children to Ms Lynch and her husband.

Superior Court Judge Ted Royster said District Court Judge April Wood was correct in ruling Brian Shipwash, Clerk of Superior Court, was within his jurisdiction to grant guardianship to Mr Corbett's sister.

Court dates have not yet been made available for Ms Martens and her father.

READ MORE: Molly Martens Corbett family describe 'heart-wrenching' final moments with children  

A spokesperson for the Corbetts said members of Mr Corbett's family, believed to be his sister Treacy Lynch and her husband David, travelled to the US for the grand jury indictment.

"They're over in the US since last weekend. The grand jury ruling was made known today," they said.

However, the source indicated Mr Corbett's family were "not happy" after it emerged Ms Martens and her father have not been placed in custody, and have instead been requested to appear in court by appointment to face the murder charges.

"They have not even arresting them. The charges were made known to them through their attorneys," the source said.

"They are supposed to present themselves in court to face the charges," the source said.

READ MORE: Children of slain Jason Corbett put into custody of their stepmother, who is chief suspect in case  

The source also revealed: "The judgement was delivered before Christmas but it was only opened today."

"The family see it as a start," they added.

"The news of the charges was delivered to Ms Martens and her father this afternoon (Monday) via their attorney. At least they are now named as the persons who are to face charges."

Mr Corbetts children are being looked after by their grandparents in Limerick while their legal guardians Treacy and David Lynch prepare to travel back to Ireland.

A statement on Ms Martens Facebook page read: "I cannot believe the level of slander, harassment, lies and absolute utter corruption."

"The truth does not matter."

"Shouldn't the truth matter? Shouldn't the truth prevail? Doesn't anyone care about the truth?"

Some of Ms Martens friends posted messages of support including Lynda Wiley Wright who said: "The kids know the truth! So sorry!"

Another friend, Danielle Spillers King said: "I have to believe with all your heartache something beautiful & better will come."

"I always have to believe that the truth will prevail...Still hoping it does for you and your family," posted Jennifer Burton Rogers.

Despite losing custody of Jack and Sarah, Ms Martens made another attempt to contact her stepchildren on New Year's Day, posting a picture of herself and Sarah along with her phone number, email address, and a brief message: "Jack and Sarah, New Years two years ago... There are not words for how much I miss you."

The Bring Justice for Jason Facebook group posted a comment saying:

"On August 2nd 2015, Jason's life was violently taken from him in his own home. We have been able to journey through our grief by holding onto our belief in truth, dignity and justice; with nothing but love in our hearts for Jason, being our guiding force.

"Hatred is not a worthy emotion in our hearts, it only gives power to those who are not worthy of sharing the same oxygen.

"Our confidence and trust in the Davidson County Sheriffs Department & the District Attorney has been reaffirmed by today's decision.

"Molly Martens & her Father Thomas Martens have been indicted for murder.

"When some disbelieved or questioned the killing of an innocent man, we always knew Jason for who he really was, a loving father, husband, son, brother and friend. A kind man who lived his life with integrity and generosity of spirit."

Tracey and David Lynch said in a statement:

"We want to express our appreciation to Davidson county District attorney Gary Frank and Davidson County Sheriff David Grice and his investigators for their hard work and determination to uncover the truth.

"We want all of the facts to go in front of a jury so that we can all know the truth.

"We continue to grieve over the murder of Jason.

"Jason's children are doing well given what has happened. We are thankful that they are in Ireland, surrounded by loving family."

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