Killers Molly and Thomas Martens now claim Jason Corbett 'was in effect responsible for his own death'
- Father and daughter serving 20-year prison sentences
- 'Jason Corbett's death was the sole proximate result of his own deliberate attempt to kill Molly Corbett and kill or seriously injure Mr Martens' - court filing
A FATHER and daughter convicted of the murder of an Irish businessman claim in new US court filings over a civil case that he was in effect responsible for his own death.
Molly 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 following a four week trial.
Both are now serving sentences of between 20 and 25 years in 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 wife, Ms Martens Corbett.
He 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 Mr Corbett.
It was also suggested that Mr Corbett may have been asleep in bed when first attacked.
However, the father and daughter are now defending a wrongful death civil suit filed against them by Mr David Lynch, a Limerick-based brother in law of Mr Corbett.
The action also lists Mr Martens' wife, Sharon, as a co-defendant.
Now, in fresh court filings in North Carolina, quoted in 'The Winston Salem Journal', the father and daughter are alleging that the Limerick-born father of two was, in effect, to blame for his own death.
Both have said that Mr Corbett was struck with a baseball bat only because he had threatened to kill them.
"Jason Corbett's death was the sole proximate result of his own deliberate attempt to kill Molly Corbett and kill or seriously injure Mr Martens," a court filing claimed.
The filing was made by solicitors Kent Hamrick and Ann Rowe who are defending Mr Martens.
Defence papers have also been filed by Dudley Witt, a solicitor who is defending Ms Martens Corbett in the action.
Mr Lynch, who is married to Mr Corbett's older sister, Tracey, was appointed guardian to his two children, Jack and Sarah, and was also executor to Mr Corbett's estate.
"In order to save his daughter from imminent bodily injury or death, Mr Martens struck Jason Corbett with the baseball bat," one court filing added.
"Jason Corbett then wrestled the bat away from Mr Martens and came after him with the bat without releasing Molly Corbett."
Both the father and daughter have requested that the civil proceedings be delayed given that they are both challenging their criminal convictions.
The duo are seeking to have their convictions overturned by the North Carolina Court of Appeal.
They have also lodged submissions to Davidson County Superior Court asking for the conviction to be quashed and a retrial order over alleged juror misconduct.
It has also been requested that, when the civil proceedings do to go hearing, that they be moved to another venue other than Davidson County.
During the second degree murder trial, the father and daughter claimed they acted entirely in self defence.
However, both were found to have no injury 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 count the precise number of blows.
Pieces of his skull actually fell out onto the surgical table during his post mortem examination.
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.