herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

'Molly and her father Tom should have got the death penalty' - Jason's brother

Jason Corbett
Jason Corbett

The American father and daughter convicted of the murder of Limerick man Jason Corbett should have been tried for first degree murder and faced the death penalty, the victim's eldest brother has said.

Molly Martens (33) and her father Thomas Martens (67), a former FBI agent, were convicted of Mr Corbett's second degree murder by a jury last week after a month-long trial.

Suffering

The father-of-two was beaten to death with a paving stone, which was on his wife's nightstand in the couple's bedroom, and a 15oz aluminium baseball bat in his home in Panther Creek Court, Wallburg, North Carolina, early on Sunday, August 2, 2015.

Both were sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison for second degree murder, or murder which was not premeditated.

Speaking for the first time since the conviction, Jason's brother John Corbett, who lives in England, said the family's suffering is set to continue as an appeal is likely to be lodged.

"I personally feel they should have being charged with capital one [first degree murder] and should have got the death penalty. They continue to show no remorse. I wish them eternal pain and suffering in prison," he told the Limerick Leader.

"But we, as a very close family, can now find some form of closure and comfort knowing the Martens are in prison where they belong.

"We will finally mourn Jason and let him rest in peace with his beloved [first] wife Mags. We will continue to grow stronger in our integrity and love for each other, but we will never forget the Martens as a stain on society."

The death penalty was reintroduced in North Carolina in 1977, but there have been no executions in the state since 2006 due to legal challenges.

Mr Corbett, one of Jason's five brothers from Janesboro in Limerick city, also urged people not to donate to the fund set up by the Martens family to raise $300,000 towards their legal costs, particularly in lodging an appeal over what they claim was a "wrongful conviction".

Mr Corbett said that "anyone who donates to it are condoning cold, calculating murder and do not respect the law of the land in the US, and do not deserve to be called US citizens. They should donate their money to the relatives of murder victims in North Carolina."

He said his brother (39) died at the hands of "cold, unapologetic killers" and they would not wish what they have endured over the past two years on any family.

"From day one, they have shown no remorse," he added.

Dignity

He praised his "wonderful family who endured all the horror in the court for four weeks, yet held their dignity and composure in the face of pure evil".

In the event of an appeal, he said he hopes that the US justice system continues to see "through their total remorseless lies". He earlier described his youngest brother as a "6ft2in teddybear, who wouldn't hurt a fly".

Ms Martens "always seemed a bit distant" to him and that "most of the family advised him not to go to America and marry her", he said.

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