herald

Thursday 21 March 2019

Murderer Molly's lawyers allowed to address appeal judges in unusual ruling

Molly Martens
Molly Martens

Killers Molly Martens and her father will be allowed to make oral submissions in their appeal against their conviction for murder.

Both are serving time for killing Ms Marten's husband, Irish businessman Jason Corbett (39), in August 2015.

The Court of Appeals in North Carolina has taken the unusual step of ruling that oral arguments be allowed in the new year as part of their appeal.

Bludgeoned

Ms Martens and her father, retired FBI agent Tom, were convicted and given 20 to 25-year prison sentences for the second degree murder of the Limerick-born father-of-two.

A Davidson County Superior Court heard how they bludgeoned Mr Corbett to death as he slept in the home he shared with Ms Martens.

The second degree murder convictions were returned after a five-week trial last year which dominated Irish and US headlines.

The court heard how Mr Corbett was bludgeoned to death with a concrete brick and a baseball bat.

Pathology evidence indicated that the first blow was most likely struck while he was asleep in bed, and that the Martens continued to beat him as he lay dead on the floor.

Both father and daughter claimed they acted in self-defence, the court was told, but while Mr Corbett suffered horrific head injuries, the Martens were uninjured. Neither had so much as a cut or a bruise.

They lodged written submissions last September on why their appeal should be upheld.

Tom and Molly Martens beat Jason Corbett to death as he slept
Tom and Molly Martens beat Jason Corbett to death as he slept

Now their legal teams will be allowed to directly address the three-judge panel on the appeal.

North Carolina prosecutors will, in turn, he allowed to make oral arguments as to why their appeal should be dismissed.

Bludgeoned

In North Carolina, most app-eal cases are dealt with by written submissions, though cases viewed as significant or complex are granted oral argument hearings.

The appeal will be heard by judges John Tyson, Valerie Zachary and Allegra Collins in late January.

The three-judge panel will reserve their judgment with a ruling in the case not expected until April.

Mr Corbett's family maintains he was killed because at the time he was planning to move back to Ireland with his two children.

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