The family of Jason Corbett's first wife has dismissed suggestions that he had anything to do with her death as "wildly inaccurate and untrue".
Corbett, 39, from County Limerick, was killed by his second wife Molly Martens and her father Thomas Martens in North Carolina in August 2015.
Earlier this week, Molly and Thomas Martens accepted a plea deal for voluntary manslaughter and are now putting forward a case for reduced or no jail time at a sentencing hearing in Lexington, North Carolina.
Lawyers representing Molly and Thomas Martens summoned a forensic pathologist to the hearing, who suggested that Corbett's first wife Mags could have been killed.
Mags, who suffered from asthma, died in 2006 after suffering a serious asthma attack.
In a strong statement on social media, Mags' family denied that Corbett had anything to do with her death, adding that he did "everything" to save her life.
"The last eight years since Jason was brutally murdered has been unimaginable for our family and all the Corbett family," the family said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"It has been difficult for everyone who knew Mags and Jason to hear the lies that the people who killed Jason are saying about him as a person. They are wildly inaccurate and untrue. Especially the lies about how our Mags died.
"Mags suffered with asthma all her life. She would always have to keep her inhalers close by. She also had a nebulizer in her home and had to use it when feeling unwell.
"On the night she died, she used both her inhalers and the nebulizer but they weren’t helping. Mags' sister Catherine was living with Jason and Mags at the time of her death and was present the night she passed. Jason woke Catherine and he also rang an ambulance. Jason put Mags in the car and rushed to meet the ambulance on the way. Jason revived Mags before he met the ambulance.
"He did everything he could to save the person he absolutely adored and our family have always been grateful for how he tried to save her."
The statement also criticized claims that Mags' father Michael told the Martens "something" about Mags' death.
Mags' father, who died in 2016, went to a solicitor before his death to sign an affidavit "to set the record straight on their lies", according to the family statement.
Statement from our family ❤️💔 pic.twitter.com/acQPr3omFd— thomas fitzpatrick (@tommydaf) November 3, 2023
Molly Martens told the sentencing hearing on Friday that she and her father beat Corbett to death because he was trying to choke her and said that it was "him or me".
Friends of Molly Martens told the court that Corbett tried to control her and that he was jealous when she was noticed by other men.
Her friend Billie June Jacob told the court that Corbett was physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive toward Martens.
Jacob told the court that Martens confided in her that her husband occasionally put a pillow over her face and strangled her during sex and that she would pass out.
Martens allegedly told Jacob that she was worried that the same thing happened to Mags Corbett.
Her friend Melissa Sims told the court that Martens once called her to say that her husband was being verbally and physically abusive.
Sims added that Martens told her that Corbett frequently threatened to remove access to his children from his first marriage "as leverage for control over her".
However, prosecutors questioned the credibility of Martens' statements, pointing to the fact that she claimed she was the birth mother of Jack and Sarah, Jason Corbett's two children from his first marriage.
Prosecutors stated that Martens had once told a Bible studies group about the complications she had endured while giving birth to Corbett's daughter Sarah.
They also said that Martens had once claimed to know Mags Corbett and that Mags had begged her to look after her children.
On another occasion, Martens falsely claimed that she was a former editor of a magazine in Ireland, prosecutors said.
Earlier this week, Molly Martens pleaded no contest to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in connection with Corbett's death after agreeing a plea bargain with North Carolina prosecutors. Her father Thomas pleaded guilty to a similar charge.
The pair have admitted to beating Corbett to death with a baseball bat and a paving slab in the bedroom of his home in Panther Creek Court in August 2015 but have claimed that they were acting in self-defense.
As part of the plea bargain, prosecutors dropped a second-degree murder charge against both Thomas and Molly Martens.
Both defendants were originally convicted of second-degree murder in 2017 and had both served three-and-a-half years of a 20-25-year sentence when a North Carolina court quashed the conviction.
The ongoing sentencing hearing will determine the scale of the sentence they will receive for voluntary manslaughter and may pass down a sentence of up to nine years in prison.
However, both defendants will walk free if the sentence is shorter than three-and-a-half years due to the time they have already served.