A jury has been chosen for the upcoming murder trial in the death of Limerick man Jason Corbett, who was killed in North Carolina on August 2, 2015.
Corbett’s widow, Molly Martens Corbett, and her father, former FBI agent Thomas Martens, are accused of his second-degree murder to which they have pleaded not guilty. The deceased has been accused of violent abuse of his wife.
Previous motions filed by attorneys for Molly Martens Corbett and Thomas Martens stated that Jason Corbett’s children from his first marriage, Sarah and Jack, had told social workers that Jason Corbett abused Molly Martens Corbett.
Corbett's had two children from his first marriage, Sarah and Jack. A motion filed in Davidson County Superior Court last year alleged that the children had "told social workers and a therapist that their father physically abused their stepmother," according to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal.
Sarah allegedly said that her father "stepped on Molly Corbett’s foot, pulled her hair, rolled over her foot with a car, and called her worthless and hit her in the face." Jack told social workers that he saw his father “punch, hit and push” Molly Martens Corbett and saw him push her down one time because “he wanted to look through her phone,” the motion says.
Corbett’s first wife in Ireland, Margaret FitzPatrick Corbett, died of a severe asthma attack. David Freedman and Jones Byrd, attorneys for the Martens, filed a notice of intent to introduce statements that Michael Fitzpatrick, Margaret Corbett's father, had made.
“The content of the statements were that Mr. Fitzpatrick believed that Jason Corbett had caused the death of Mr. Fitzpatrick’s daughter Margaret Corbett,” the motion says. “Mr. Fitzpatrick’s prior statements are offered in support of the defendant’s asserted defenses of self-defense and the defense of others, in that they are relevant to the defendant’s state of mind during the alleged altercation with Jason Corbett.”
So far, three men and nine women have been picked for the jury – whittled down from a jury pool of 140 – and once two substitutes have been found the trial can start.
Jason Corbett (39) was a manager at Multi Packaging Solutions at the time of his death.
His death occurred in the early morning hours of Aug. 2, 2015, at his house at 160 Panther Creek Court in the Meadowlands, a golf course community in Davidson County. According to police reports, he was struck with a baseball bat and a paving stone.
The trial is expected to last between two and three weeks, but the accused are worried they won’t receive a fair trial in Davidson County, NC due to the avalanche of media coverage relating to the case. More than 350 articles have been written about the killing, their attorneys said, some of which had been inaccurate and, therefore, had jeopardized their right to a fair trial.
Their concerns, however, were dismissed last month by Davidson Superior Court Judge David Lee who said, “There is no showing of prejudice in the investigation or proceedings… to preclude selection of a jury.”
A wrongful death suit seeking $50,000 worth of damages was filed yesterday by David Lynch, the executor of Corbett’s will, against the pair, who claim they bludgeoned the Limerick man to death in self-defense.
Martens says he found his son-in-law choking Molly Corbett and struck him with a baseball bat he’d brought to the house as a present for his step-grandson.
The suit, however, claims that Martens, “intentionally, willfully and maliciously assaulted” Jason Corbett and that his wife Sharon Martens, “assisted, aided and abetted Defendants Molly Page Corbett and Thomas Martens in the killing of Jason Corbett and in the concealment and destruction of evidence related to Jason Corbett’s death.”
Sharon Martens has not been charged with any criminal offense in relation to Jason Corbett’s death.
Jason Corbett’s first wife, Margaret, died in 2006 of an asthma attack. He met his future wife, Molly, in 2008 when he hired her as a nanny to look after his two children. Three years later they were married. Initially they lived in Ireland but later relocated to North Carolina.
After Corbett's’ death a protracted custody battle for the care of his two children was waged between his widow and his sister, Tracey, and her husband, David. The judge awarded custody to the aunt and uncle and the children have returned to Ireland to live with their extended family.
H/T: Limerick Leader.