08th Apr 2021
Molly and Thomas Martens were sentenced to 20 – 25 years in prison in 2017 for the second-degree murder of Limerick man Jason Corbett in North Carolina in 2015. This was after nine women and three men concluded they had not killed Jason Corbett in self-defence but out of malice.
Despite this defence, the trial heard that when police and paramedics arrived at the house they found no visible marks on the father and daughter.
However, their convictions were recently quashed after the courts ruled the exclusion of certain evidence and erroneous inclusion of other evidence in the original trial had prevented the Martens from presenting a full and meaningful defence.
This week, the two were released on bail with a bond of $200,000 and banned from any contact with the family of Jason Corbett.
However, it was reported on Thursday morning prosecutors have offered a plea deal to the Martens which the Corbett family have said they are devastated over.
The plea bargain has reportedly been offered on condition they admit to Jason’s voluntary manslaughter. If they accept the deal they are likely to receive a jail sentence of just under six years for voluntary manslaughter, but as of now, a retrial is due to be held at an unknown date.
The Corbett family have said in a statement: “The basis of the retrial was down to a technicality on the testing of blood on Tom Marten’s shorts which could have been easily resolved and the children’s statements conducted whilst in the custody of the Martens family. Not only did the children recant these statement made while terrified to child protected services. They also offered new completing evidence. Which was corroborated by their counsellor in Ireland.”
“Davidson County District Attorney, Garry Frank’s has decided not to grant a retrial and instead offer a plea deal of voluntary manslaughter which carries a sentence of 51 – 64 months. Forty-four months have already been served so should they accept this plea deal, and with time served, they will serve only an additional two years before been released.
“The Corbetts have fought relentlessly to protect Jason’s two young children from the trauma of this social media campaign instigated by friends and family members of the Martens family as well as fought to clear their beloved brother and son’s name from the relentless and volatile lies been circulated all over social media by members of the Martens family labelling him an abuser.”
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