herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Murderer Molly given a month to respond to wrongful death lawsuit

Molly Martens
Molly Martens
Jason Corbett
Thomas Martens

Molly Martens and her parents have been given four weeks to respond to an action for damages over the wrongful death of her husband, Jason Corbett, in the US.

A court in North Carolina imposed the deadline after all three sought additional time to respond to the lawsuit.

The civil action was initiated last month, before the outcome of the trial over Mr Corbett's death.

Ms Martens (33) and her father, retired FBI agent Thomas Martens (67), were jailed on August 9 for between 20 and 25 years after being found guilty of the Limerick man's second- degree murder.

Ms Martens' mother, Sharon Martens, who was not charged with any offence, is also being sued in the civil action.

According to court filings, separate applications were made earlier this month by Ms Martens and her parents for more time to respond to the lawsuit, brought by Mr Corbett's brother-in-law, David Lynch, as executor of his estate.

The applications were granted by Davidson County Superior Court, which set a firm deadline for responses.

In the lawsuit, Mr Corbett's estate is seeking at least $50,000 (€42,300) in damages.

A first claim seeks in excess of €25,000 (€21,200) for the pain and suffering endured by Mr Corbett and the fact that his two children have lost out on his income, protection, care and companionship. It also seeks the cost of his funeral.

Brick

Lawyers for Mr Lynch said Ms Martens and her father had "intentionally, wilfully and maliciously assaulted Jason Corbett, including hitting him on the head with a baseball bat and a concrete paving brick, causing his death".

The lawsuit alleges Sharon Martens "aided and abetted" in the killing and in the concealment and destruction of evidence.

A second claim seeks additional punitive damages in excess of $25,000 against the three defendants as it is claimed they acted with malice.

The action also seeks an order that the costs of the lawsuit be paid by them.

The jury in the murder trial had to be satisfied malice was a factor before returning the guilty verdicts against Ms Martens and her father.

Should the civil action proceed, it would be heard before a jury.

All three defendants are expected to contest the civil action.

Ms Martens and her father have already indicated they plan to challenge their convictions and their family has begun fundraising for an appeal.

Mr Corbett was murdered at his home in Panther Creek Court, North Carolina, on Aug-ust 2, 2015. He had lived there for four years.

He formed a relationship with Tennessee-born Ms Martens after she travelled to Ireland to work as a nanny to his two young children following the death of his first wife.

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