herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

Murderer Molly appeal fund has raised measly €11k of its €254k target

Molly Martens has been sentenced to up to 25 years in jail
Molly Martens has been sentenced to up to 25 years in jail

A fund set up to pay legal fees for murderers Molly Martens and her father, retired FBI agent Thomas Martens, has raised only $13,000 (€11,000) of the $300,000 (€254,000) target.

The pair, who were convicted last week of the second-degree murder of Molly's Irish husband Jason Corbett (39), were sentenced to up to 25 years in jail.

An online fundraiser was set up by Mona Earnest, the wife of Molly's uncle Michael Earnest, less than a day after their conviction in a North Carolina court.

The campaign said Molly and her father need $300,000 (€254,000) for a future appeal as their legal expenses to date had "gutted the family financially".

The fund was set up last Thursday, the day before the pair's controversial interview with TV network ABC was broadcast.

They recorded it for the 20/20 programme, which was broadcast on Friday night in the US and attracted an audience of millions.

Despite the wide exposure and viewing figures, it has failed to generate further support for the appeal fund.

As of last night, a little over $13,000 (€11,000) had been raised - or only 4pc of the target.

Bludgeoning

Molly and Thomas Martens were convicted of bludgeoning father-of-two Mr Corbett to death in the bedroom of his home in Panther Creek on August 2, 2015.

Both claimed they beat him to death in self-defence.

However, neither Molly (33) nor her 67-year-old father had any injuries while Mr Corbett sustained at least 12 blows. A sedative was also found in his system.

Molly told detectives she hit her husband with a paving brick, which she kept in her nightstand.

Her father said he hit him with a baseball bat after he saw him attacking his daughter.

However, it is believed Mr Corbett was lying down when he was struck.

Mr Corbett, from Janesboro, Co Limerick, is dad to Jack (13) and Sarah (11). He lost his first wife, Mags Fitzpatrick, to a fatal asthma attack in 2006.

In 2009, Molly left her home in Tennessee to move to Ireland after responding to an advert posted by Mr Corbett looking for an au pair.

Their relationship developed and they married in 2011 before relocating to the US.

In the years following their wedding, Mr Corbett blocked his wife's attempts to adopt the children.

It is believed he wanted to return home permanently with them.

In the interview screened on Friday night, Molly further angered Mr Corbett's grieving family.

She questioned the circumstances surrounding Ms Fitzpatrick's death, as well as claiming she was physically abused by her husband.

Mr Corbett's family have always denied he was abusive towards her.

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