A former model and her ex-FB agent father have been re-sentenced to prison for the murder of her Irish businessman husband, who was beaten to death in 2015.
Father-of-two Jason Corbett, 39, was bludgeoned to death with an aluminum baseball bat and brick paver by his wife Molly Corbett and her father Thomas Martens, according to prosecutors.
Corbett and her father were convicted of the murder in 2017 but the North Carolina Supreme Court reversed their convictions on second-degree murder in 2021 and ordered a new trial. Each had been sentenced in 2017 from 20 to 25 years.
Last month the father and daughter entered plea deals to voluntary manslaughter: Corbett pleaded no contest and Martens pleaded guilty to the charge.
They were sentenced on Wednesday to a minimum of four years and a maximum of six years – and received credit for the three years and eight months they already served. The par was also ordered to not contact Corbett’s family.
Molly Corbett and her father Thomas Martens have been re-sentenced to prison for the 2015 murder of her husband
Thomas Martens claims he beat Jason Corbett, 39, to death in self-defense
Father-of-two Jason Corbett, 39, was bludgeoned to death with an aluminum baseball bat and brick paver
Defense attorneys have said the two were acting in self-defense after Corbett strangled Molly and that they feared for their lives during a struggle with the husband.
Their convictions were reversed after the high court pointed to omitted statements that the Corbetts’ two children had made during a medical evaluation soon after the death that indicated their father had been abusive in the home.
Jurors also reportedly admitted they acted inappropriately during the trial.
Prosecutors alleged the kids’ statements were not reliable and that both later recanted. The trial judge excluded the statements from being entered into the trial.
Jason Corbett, a native of Ireland, met Molly Corbett in 2008 when she worked as an au pair for two children from his first marriage. His first wife had died of an asthma attack in 2006.
The two quickly grew romantically involved, and in 2011 relocated their family to Davidson County, North Carolina.
With time, she claimed Corbett became more controlling as well as physically and verbally abusive — a claim his two children repeated during questioning by social workers.
Martens, who lived in Tennessee served the FBI for over 30 years, testified at their 2017 trial that he had awakened at night at the Corbetts’ home by noises and a scream. He said he found the couple in their bedroom, and Jason with his hands around Molly’s neck saying ‘I’m going to kill her.’
Prosecutors said a possible motive for the gruesome slaughter may have been for Martens Corbett to adopt the kids and to collect a $600,000 life insurance policy.
Jack and Sarah, who are living back in Ireland with their father’s family, have since recanted some of their previous statements that indicated their father had been abusive in the home.
Jason Corbett, a native of Ireland, met Molly Corbett in 2008 when she worked as an au pair for two children from his first marriage
Jason was found covered in blood inside the family’s home in Davidson County, North Carolina, in 2015
Jason’s children made statements indicating their father had been abusive in the home, but later recanted some of them
The children’s statements suggested Jason had been increasingly angry and gotten mad the night of his death when his then-seven-year-old daughter couldn’t fall asleep.
Last week, prosecutors played two videos of Corbett’s kids Jack and Sarah saying their father was abusive shortly after his funeral. They recounted their testimony a year later.
The videos show Sarah saying her dad would get mad at Corbett for ‘ridiculous reasons’ like leaving the light on and that he would yell at her every day. The girl also claimed she witnessed her dad being physically abusive, purposely stepping on his wife and running her foot over with his car.
Sarah’s brother Jack made similar statements, saying the couple did not get along and that their stepmom said she was afraid of his dad. The kids said at the time they wanted to stay in the US with their stepmom.
In ruling to overturned the convictions, Associate Justice Anita Earls wrote that Superior Court Judge David Lee erred chiefly by excluding the children’s statements to social workers.
Earls pointed to omitted statements that the Corbetts’ two children had made during a medical evaluation soon after the death that indicated their father had been abusive in the home. Lee ruled the statements weren’t trustworthy, pointing out the children had recanted some previous accusations in a later interview with prosecutors and in diary entries.
Without the evidence, ‘it was easier for the jury to conclude that Tom and Molly had invented their story in an effort to cover up their crime and falsely assert that they acted in self-defense,’ Earls wrote.
Additionally, jurors had reportedly admitted they talked about the case against the judge’s instructions.
They claimed they ‘formed opinions about Molly Corbett despite the fact that she did not even take the witness stand’ and ‘developed their own theories’ that were ‘not supported by the facts or evidence.’
After Corbett and Martins’s convictions were overturned, Tracey Corbett Lynch and David Lynch, the legal guardians of Jason Corbett’s children, Jack and Sarah, released a lengthy and detailed statement, accusing the district attorney of letting the defendants ‘get away with murder.’
‘What does it say for justice in North Carolina that you can drug a father of two, then beat him to death with a baseball bat and a paving brick, literally crush his skull, and still escape a murder conviction?’ the relatives wrote. ‘What does it say for justice that you can escape a murder conviction so long as you have deep pockets and deep connections?’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk