'Same old lies' by Martens, says family of murdered Limerick man Jason Corbett

Anne Sheridan

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Anne Sheridan

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anne.sheridan@limerickleader.ie

'Same old lies' by Martens, says family of murdered Limerick man Jason Corbett

Molly Martens-Corbett and Thomas Corbett were found guilty of second-degree murder

A TWIN brother of murdered Limerickman Jason Corbett said claims by those convicted that he was responsible for his own death are the "same old lies."

Wayne Corbett and eldest brother John Corbett said the latest statements made by lawyers on behalf of Molly Martens Corbett and Thomas Martens should not be given any credibility.

“Same old lies from that family,” tweeted Wayne Corbett, while John Corbett referred to them as “cowards” on social media.

Martens-Corbett, 33, and her father Thomas Martens, 67, a former FBI agent, are currently serving a jail sentence of 20 to 25 years after they were found guilty of the second degree murder of the father of two at the couple’s home in August 2015.

He was beaten to death with a paving stone and a 15 ounce aluminium baseball bat at his home in Panther Creek Court, Wallburg, North Carolina.

Last month, Mr Corbett’s brother-in-law David Lynch filed a separate civil suit of wrongful death against Martens and her father. Mother Sharon Martens, who was not charged with any offence, is also being sued.

In the lawsuit, Mr Corbett’s estate is seeking at least $50,000 (€42,200) in damages. A first claim seeks in excess of €25,000 (€21,200) for the pain and suffering endured by Mr Corbett and the fact his two children have lost out on his income, protection, care and companionship. It also seeks the cost of his funeral.

The lawsuit alleges Sharon Martens “aided and abetted” in the killing and in the concealment and destruction of evidence. Another claim says the three acted with malice.

Legal representatives for Martens Corbett and her father are defending the wrongful death civil suit and have also filed for retrial of their convictions based on allegations of jury misconduct and bias.

The court papers defending the wrongful death suit, were filed by attorneys representing Martens and claim Jason Corbett’s death “was the sole proximate result of his own unprovoked violent aggression and his deliberate attempt to kill Molly Corbett and kill or seriously injure Mr Martens”.

The court papers lodged by Martens’ legal representatives and cited in the Winston Salem Journal, say Martens was defending himself and his daughter when he struck Jason Corbett with a baseball bat.

They write that “in order to save his daughter from imminent bodily injury or death Mr Martens struck Jason Corbett with the baseball bat”.

The papers claim that “Jason Corbett then wrestled the bat away from Mr Martens and came after him with the bat without releasing Molly Corbett”.

The father and daughter have requested the venue for the wrongful-death lawsuit be transferred from Davidson County following claims of jury misconduct.

In papers filed to the court last month, the father and daughter’s lawyers claimed that social media posts and media interviews by members of the jury after the trial indicated they were biased against Martens-Corbett.

They alleged that jury members held “private conversations” discussing theories on the case before retiring to deliberate on a verdict.

Social media posts, quotes from members of the jury in media articles, and transcripts from the court have been filed as exhibits in the defence’s case to have the guilty verdict set aside.

An appeal fund launched by Mona Earnest, a relative of the Martens, has to date raised $20,797 from 129 backers - or just six per cent of the fundraising target of $300,000, to raise funds for their legal challenges, over what the family claim was a “wrongful conviction”.