Lexington Dispatch August 1st 2017
A coworker of Thomas Martens testified Tuesday that Martens indicated disdain for Jason Corbett on two specific occasions before the night he was killed, including one in which he said he hated his son-in-law.
Joann Lowry, a colleague of Martens, testified that she worked with Martens in the counter-intelligence department of the Department of Energy in Tennessee. Two months before the incident, Lowry said she asked about Martens’ weekend, and he indicated that Molly Corbett, Jason Corbett and his grandchildren came to visit. ″(Martens) said, ‘We’re always glad to see them come home, but we’re always glad to see them leave. That son-in-law, I hate him,’” Lowry testified. On the stand Tuesday in Davidson County Superior Court, Lowry recalled an instance near the time Jason Corbett and Molly Corbett were married in 2011. Lowry testified that she was told by Martens that he hosted a pre-wedding party at his house, but he did not appreciate the behavior of Jason Corbett. ″(Martens) was not very fond of Jason and his rowdy friends,” Lowry said.
The Journal.ie August 2nd 2017
A BLOOD SPATTER analyst has said an object may have been used to hit Jason Corbett multiple times.
Stuart James, testifying at the murder trial into the Irishman’s death in North Carolina, spoke about the blood patterns present on the walls of the master bedroom and bathroom in Corbett’s house.At the trial, James noted several instances of impact spatter and transfer stains along the walls. The analyst said impact spatter is when a force is applied to a liquid blood source, and transfer stains are when a bloody surface makes contact with another surface. James noted two large transfer stains on one wall, which he believes came from Jason Corbett’s head hitting the wall in a descending motion. One transfer stain was 24 to 28 inches above the floor and the other was five to 16 inches above the floor.
In the proximity of the transfer stains was an indentation located three to four inches above the floor. James believed the indentation came from an object’s impact. According to the analyst, some of the blood on the bedroom wall appeared to be expirated spatter, meaning the blood came from Jason Corbett breathing or coughing. In the bathroom, James described transfer stains near a cracked light switch. Above the light switch was an indentation in the wall. James also described several impact spatters on Martens’ boxers, red polo shirt and Molly Martens Corbett’s pajamas. In addition to impact spatters, he showed transfer stains and tissue fragments on the shirt and pajamas. Martens’ wristwatch had transfer stains, as well. In James’ opinion, due to the distribution of blood, he believed the object was used multiple times.
The Lexington Dispatch August 3rd 2017
Superior Court Judge David Lee rejected a motion by defense lawyers Thursday to dismiss the second-degree murder charges against Thomas Martens and Molly Corbett for the killing of Jason Corbett.
David Freedman, the lawyer for Martens, said all the evidence provided by the prosecution suggested that Martens and Molly Corbett acted in self defense. “Nothing has contradicted that,” Freedman said. ”...No evidence (the jury) has to infer malice.” Walter Holton, the lawyer for Molly Corbett, said the evidence is “so overwhelmingly self-defense” that the case should be dismissed. Davidson County Assistant District Attorney Greg Brown argued that the prosecution has provided substantial evidence that leans toward the state’s right to have the case decided by a jury.
Irish Examiner August 4th 2017
Corbett ‘planned to leave wife and return to Ireland’ Victim’s sister tells court he wanted to return home Judge rules statements cannot be made before jury
Mr Corbett had planned to fly from the US to the family home in Ireland to attend his father’s birthday party the following month. The jury also heard that he had been planning on leaving Ms Martens — his second wife and former nanny to his children — and return to Ireland for good. Earlier, the trial heard that a senior detective involved had lied to an insurance agent when he told her that Ms Martens refused to co-operate and answer questions about the death of her husband. Testimony for the prosecution by two of Mr Corbett’s co-workers that he was homesick and planning to leave his wife and return to Ireland was not allowed by the judge. viewed about the family’s insurance policy. “Two days into the trial, we receive this report”, Walter Holton, one of Ms Martens’s attorneys, said outside the presence of the jury. “It is my information that this report was not available to the district attorney or our office until two days into the trial.” Ms Huffman, Mr Holton said, gave detailed accounts of her conversations with Ms Thompson. In one of those conversations, Ms Huffman says Ms Thompson told her Ms Martens refused to answer questions from investigators and that she requested to see an attorney. Mr Holton said that’s simply not true. “Molly Corbett never requested an attorney and never refused to co-operate,” he said. Tracey Lynch took the stand yesterday afternoon in the second-degree murder trial in the death of her brother, Jason Corbett, who was found bludgeoned to death two years ago. The second anniversary of his death was Wednesday. Ms Lynch’s testimony about her conversations with her brother about leaving for Ireland permanently with his two children, Jack and Sarah, was hotly contested, and Judge David Lee ultimately decided that she could not testify to those conversations in front of the jury.
The Irish Daily Mail August 4th 2017
MOLLY Martens shook and sobbed uncontrollably in court yesterday when her sister-in-law told jurors the name of Jack and Sarah Corbett’s mother Mags. During the second week of evidence in the trial of Jason Corbett’s wife and father-in-law, his sister Tracey Lynch took the stand to testify for the prosecution. When she mentioned Mags Corbett, the late mother of Jason’s children, Ms Martens began crying audibly. Earlier at Davidson County Superior Court in North Carolina it emerged that the named beneficiary on an insurance policy held by the Limerick father-of-two was changed shortly before his death. And a former colleague of Mr Corbett also told jurors that she had seen Molly Martens two days after the killing and observed ‘no injuries, no bruises, swelling or scratches’ anywhere on her body. On an emotional day in court, Mr Corbett’s sister Tracey Lynch took the stand after lunch to tell jurors her brother was ‘very homesick and lonely’. She began saying that she was living in Ireland with her own two children and her brother’s two children, Jack and Sarah. ‘Who was Jack and Sarah’s mother?’ asked prosecutor Ina Stanton. ‘Mags Corbett,’ Mrs Lynch replied. At this point, Ms Martens was overcome by emotion in her seat, rocking, crying and sniffling audibly. What is your legal status with regard to Jack and Sarah Corbett?’ continued Ms Stanton. ‘My husband and I are the legal guardians of Jack and Sarah Corbett,’ said Mrs Lynch. Again, on the left handside of the room, Ms Martens began to shake and cry.
Mrs Lynch told the court that as far back as August 2014, Jason had told her he wanted to move home to Ireland. ‘He said he was very homesick and lonely,’ she said. ‘Molly had been messaging me in March 2015 and she had enquired about when my father’s birthday was. I said to my husband, “Why isn’t she asking Jason? Jason never told me that Molly was coming. It was just Jason and the two kids.”’
In earlier evidence, Melanie Crook, a human resources director at Multi-packing Solutions, told the court that Ms Martens had come to the Lexington plant on August 4 to collect Jason’s personal belongings, and did not display any injuries.
She was wearing a ‘boat neck top with cap sleeves and her hair was tied up.’ The area around her neck was completely exposed. Ms Crook said she spent 20 minutes with Ms Martens and didn’t see any injuries at all. At the time Ms Crook did not know the circumstances surrounding Mr Corbett’s death. She gave Ms Martens a hug and watched her leave with Jason’s belongings.
Another MPS employee, who had planned to testify about his knowledge of Mr Corbett’s strained relationship and plans to move home, was not allowed to give evidence after objections from the defence.During cross-examination, Stuart James also told the court that he ‘didn’t see any real value’ in visiting the crime scene. In relation to the pieces of clothing worn by the defendants on the night of the killing Mr James said that he had asked for several stains to be tested by the state crime lab for the presence of blood. ‘You don’t have to test every single stain,’ he said. ‘It can’t be done.’
He said that stains on the lower parts of the boxers worn by Tom Martens and the pyjama bottoms worn by Molly Martens came from impact with Mr Corbett’s head, which would have been low down when struck. The defence argued that he could not testify to this with any scientific certainty.
‘You don’t have to test every stain’
Irish Times August 5th 2017
The father-in-law of Irishman Jason Corbett took the stand yesterday in a North Carolina courtroom describing how he beat the 39-yearold Irishman on the head with a baseball bat in the early hours of August 2, 2015. “I hit him until he goes down and then I step away,” “Thomas Martens, 67, testified. I don’t know how many times I hit him. I hit him until I thought he could not kill me... I felt both of our lives were in danger. I did the best I could.”
Irish Daily Mail August 5th 2017
Co-accused Tom Martens stepped into the dock and gave an account of an extraordinary struggle that ensued between him and Mr Corbett involving a baseball bat he had brought to Jason and Molly’s house that day for Mr Corbett’s son Jack.
He said he had been woken by a disturbance and heard screams coming from Molly and Jason’s bedroom. Grabbing the bat he had brought, he went to investigate the commotion. The man with over 31 years of service in the FBI sobbed as he recalled begging Mr Corbett to free his daughter from a ‘chokehold’ he said the Limerick man had her in on the night of August 1, 2015. The father of four from Knoxville, Tennessee, told the court in North Carolina that he had never witnessed Mr Corbett being physically violent toward his daughter before that night. During cross-examination by the prosecution, Mr Martens said he had received training in the ‘use of force’ during his time as a field agent in the FBI. This included self-defence training and ‘excessive force’ training.
In relation to ‘baton training’ he had received, he was asked to identify which parts of the body should be struck to ‘bring a man down’. He said the ankle, the knees or the kidneys. The prosecution contended that a baseball bat is similar to a baton and should have been used in that way.
Mr Martens said that he chose to hit Mr Corbett in the head because that was the only area he could strike without hitting Molly.
Greg Brown, for the prosecution, told the court that during an interview conducted by two detectives investigating Mr Corbett’s death, Mr Martens ‘interrupted questioning and took charge’.