herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Martens appeals order on Jason's belongings

Courts

Jason Corbett and Molly Mertens
Jason Corbett and Molly Mertens

An American woman charged with the murder of her Irish husband has appealed a judge's order directing her to return personal belongings and provide a court with bank documents.

Molly Martens Corbett (32) has been given a deadline of April 6 to return items removed from the North Carolina home she shared with her husband, Jason Corbett (39), from Limerick.

However, court records show she has now lodged an appeal, claiming the judge who made the order abused his discretion.

The appeal is the latest twist in a bitter row between Ms Martens and Mr Corbett's family, which has involved disputes over the custody of his children and the contents of his estate since his violent death last August.

As well as appealing the order, made by the Clerk of the Davidson County Superior Court, Brian Shipwash, Ms Martens has filed a motion asking for him to be removed from the case.

Abuse

Mr Shipwash is an elected official who holds judicial functions in guardianship and other family law matters.

A lawyer for Ms Martens claimed Mr Shipwash's order for the return of the belongings was not supported by evidence.

"The conclusions of law are not supported by the findings of fact," the lawyer claimed.

"Additionally, this order constitutes an abuse of discretion by the clerk."

It is not yet clear when the appeal will be heard.

Ms Martens and her father, former FBI agent Thomas Martens (65), are both free on bail after being charged with second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

They have denied the charges and have insisted they acted in self-defence. Their trial is expected later this year.

In a 911 call, Mr Martens was heard telling a dispatcher he hit Mr Corbett with a baseball bat, claiming he had no choice as he was choking his daughter.

However, a police detective's report said the scene of the row was "not consistent" with the account given.

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