WXII 12 Febuary 9th 2020
Sister of 2015 murdered Irishman in N.C. speaks for the first time on court's decision to overturn convictions and grant retrial for her brother's alleged killers. In their first statement since the Appellate Court's decision, Jason's sister, Tracey Corbett Lynch, and her husband, David Lynch, addressed the ruling. They spoke on the courts and the support their family has received from people around the world at their homes in Ireland.
"We had not expected this decision - we fully respect the courts in the US. However, we are disappointed," Tracey said in a statement. "We want to thank the people in the U.S. and Ireland for your words of comfort, support, your kindness in comments, letters, emails and messages over the past week," she continued, "Our family also knows that the truth will not change. We all know what happened."
The defense for both defendants maintains Molly and Tom acted in self-defense in the 2015 incident. They say Jason was choking Molly during the night. That's when her father, a former FBI agent, went to help her. The February 4, 2020 ruling noted the evidence presented led the jury to determine Tom "aggressively and willingly entered into the fight with Jason without legal excuse or provocation."
Last week, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 split decision that errors made during the trial were "so prejudicial" that Molly Corbett and Tom Martens were unable to defend themselves meaningfully. The ruling goes on to say those errors warrant a new trial in the case. State prosecutors have a right to appeal the decision to the N.C. Supreme Court because the ruling was a split decision.
Irish Daily Mail February 10th 2020
Following in their dad’s footsteps’ FRIENDS and supporters of murder victim Jason Corbett have said it has been ‘an absolutely horrendous’ week after his killers were granted a retrial.
Loved ones took to social media to condemn the appeal decision in North Carolina as they insisted ‘truth and love will triumph over lies and murder’. It comes after the Irish Mail on Sunday revealed that Mr Corbett’s children may have to travel from Ireland to the US for the retrial. Mr Corbett – who had moved from Limerick to Wallburg, North Carolina – was battered to death in 2015 by his wife Molly Martens Corbett and her father Tom Martens, a retired FBI agent. Both were convicted in 2017 – despite claiming they acted in self-defence – and were sentenced to 20-25 years in prison. However, a US appeal court last week ordered a retrial as they claimed the defendants had not been able to present ‘a meaningful defence’. A Trial: The late Jason Corbett Facebook group called ‘Jason’s Journey’ – run by close associates of the family – condemned the decision yesterday. ‘It’s been an absolutely horrendous week for Jason’s family,’ the statement read. ‘However, let’s not forget what has been achieved and take a moment to see what is true and real. Love… ‘Jason’s true self shines brightly reflected in his wonderful children and the happy memories of the time they spent with their dad,’ the post continued.
It went on to hail his ‘beautiful, kind-hearted daughter’ Sarah, who was recently awarded the title Limerick Person of the Month.
The 13-year-old is set to have her first book published, titled Noodle Loses Dad, with proceeds of the sales going towards the Children’s Grief Centre. Both she and her brother Jack – who Jason shared with his late first wife Mags – now live with their aunt Tracey, Jason’s sister, in Limerick. Tracey yesterday declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Daily Mail. ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,’ the Facebook post said. ‘Jack & Sarah are amazing and following in their dad’s altruistic footsteps.’ The post went on to rubbish Ms Martens’s claims that Jason was abusive towards her and that she had been acting in self defence. ‘We know what is true, we know what is real. Jason’s autopsy report is real,’ friends said. ‘The facts are true. We have to believe that truth & love with triumph over lies & murder…’
WXII 12 February 4th 2020
Molly Corbett and Thomas Martens will get a new trial in the death of Jason Corbett after the North Carolina Court of Appeals overturned their murder convictions. The court ruled that it found errors with evidence in the trial. Thomas Martens and Molly Corbett, appealed their second-degree murder convictions last winter in connection to the beating death of Molly Corbett’s husband, Irishman Jason Corbett, in August 2015. The trial was held in Davidson County Court in 2017.
The father and daughter are in jail serving 20- to 25-year sentences after a jury found the pair guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Jason Corbett after he was beaten to death with a baseball bat and brick paver inside the couple’s Davidson County home. Martens and Molly Corbett claimed self-defense. Their attorneys alleged the duo did not receive a fair trial, and raised several issues on appeal, including alleged juror misconduct. They are also challenged testimony from experts during the trial, specifically from a blood spatter expert.
Irish Daily Mail February 22nd 2020
A RETRIAL of the father and daughter convicted of murdering Limerick man Jason Corbett is to be challenged by North Carolina’s attorney general. Joshua Stein’s move for a temporary stay on the order in relation to Mr Corbett’s father-in-law and wife, Tom and Molly Martens, while he appeals the decision was confirmed in papers filed in court yesterday. The news will come as a huge relief to Mr Corbett’s family in Limerick who were ‘devastated’ to hear his convicted killers were entitled to a retrial.
Mr Corbett’s sister Tracey Lynch, released a statement to the media recently – prior to yesterday’s announcement – outlining the further anguish now endured by the family. ‘The truth will not change,’ she said. ‘We all know what happened – Jason was beaten around his head with a brick and baseball bat while he slept in his home. ‘Molly and Thomas Martens continued to beat Jason even after he died. Two children were orphaned. ‘My brother’s children, Jack and Sarah, had to be sheltered by police from seeing what the Martens had done to their father. The autopsy has also not changed. The horrific details of Jason’s death [have] not changed. We had not expected this decision – we fully respect the courts in the US. However, we are disappointed.’
Mr Corbett, 39, died from head injuries after being struck with a brick and a baseball bat at the home he shared with Ms Martens, his second wife, in Wallburg, North Carolina, in 2015. The beating was so bad that pathologists could not determine precisely how many blows he had sustained. Prosecution lawyers described the attack in the original trial as ‘heinous, atrocious and cruel’. Ms Martens and her father, Tom, a former FBI agent, were both convicted of second degree murder after a trial in 2017. Despite being sentenced to 2025 years in prison, the pair have always maintained that they acted in self defence. A US appeal court ordered the retrial last month as they claimed the defendants had not been able to present ‘a meaningful defence’. Lawyers for the father and daughter argued that the judge had excluded key evidence from the case which could have proven their innocence.
WXII 12 April 29th 2020
A former FBI agent who was convicted of murdering his son in law in Davidson County will not get to leave prison because of the risk of getting coronavirus. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that a judge denied the request on Tuesday. Martens' attorneys argued that the 70-year-old was at great risk of contracting COVID-19 at a state prison where he's serving up to 25 years. Judge Mark Klass of Davidson Superior Court denied Martens' request after hearing arguments in court.
In February, the North Carolina Court of Appeals overturned Martens' and his daughter, Molly Corbett's, murder convictions, stating: “Defendants were prevented from presenting a meaningful defense, or from receiving the full benefit of their claims of self-defense and defense of a family. As a result, the jury was denied critical evidence and rendered incapable of performing its constitutional function."
ABC 8 March 25th 2020
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The relative of Knoxville natives accused of murder is sharing his story after a new development across the state line.
Connor Martens’ father, Thomas Martens, and his sister, Molly Corbett, were granted a new trial on Friday by the North Carolina Supreme Court, years after the two were sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison on second-degree murder charges in the death of Jason Corbett. “It was definitely shocking news, in a great way,” Connor said. “More than one appellate court now at this point has affirmed the trial was unfair and on multiple accounts there was evidence that was not let in that should have been and if there was a new trial, it would be hugely beneficial for us. It corroborates what we say and provides some evidence that is really important to describe the context of the situation.”
Irish Examiner November 27th 2020
The daughter of Limerick man Jason Corbett, who was killed in the US in 2015, has spoken out about grief and bereavement to raise awareness for other children who have experienced loss.
Sarah Corbett Lynch now lives in Limerick with her brother Jack, aunt Tracey, uncle Dave, and her two cousins. Her mother, Mags Fitzpatrick, passed away from an asthma attack when Sarah was just 12 weeks old. Her father’s second wife, Molly Martens, and Molly’s father Tom Martens, were convicted of second- degree murder. Sarah was eight at the time of her father’s death.
Sarah, who is now 14 and in second year of secondary school, says young people should let their bereaved friends know they are there for them and willing to listen.
“Act normal, don’t act differently, and be yourself. Acknowledge that your friend has lost someone that they loved, but don’t ask a load of questions about what happened. If they want to tell you, they will tell you.”
She adds that creative outlets also helped with her grief, and she has written a book called Noodle loses Dad. “Writing helped me a lot. I could put my feelings down on paper, but didn’t have to say them [out loud]. Noodle Loses Dad is an easy way for parents to talk to their kids about death.