MOLLY MARTENS CORBETT and her father entered pleas of not guilty today in the murder trial concerning the death of Limerick man Jason Corbett.
The 32-year-old and her father Thomas Martens (65) appeared in Davidson County Superior Court with their attorneys for their first administrative hearing.
The daughter and father, both of whom are not in jail after posting bond last month, are facing the charges of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter in the death of 39-year-old Jason Corbett.
Martens and her father, who is a retired FBI agent, are suspects in the homicide on 2 August 2015. Deputies responded to the Corbetts’ residence just after 3 am on that date.
Deputy CS Dagenhardt wrote in a report that while Deputy D Dillard was on route to an assault at 160 Panther Creek Court, the Davidson County 911 Center advised the caller had been in an argument with his son-in-law and struck him with a baseball bat. DCSO patrol deputies arrived at the address and found a man inside the home with head injuries.
Corbett died from blunt trauma from a ball bat and a landscaping stone, according to the autopsy report. The medical examiner stated in the report Martens apparently struck Corbett in the head numerous times with a bat and a landscape-type rock.
Thomas and Sharon Martens were visiting from their home in Knoxville, Tennessee, according to the search warrant. They were staying in the guest bedroom, and Thomas Martens is reported to have been awakened by a argument between his daughter and son-in-law.
According to the application for the search warrant, he went to the master bedroom and intervened with the use of an aluminum baseball bat, striking his son-in-law in the head. In a 911 recording, Martens claimed his son-in-law got into a fight with his daughter.
Molly Corbett and her father both entered pleas of not guilty in court. In the court proceeding, Judge Mark Klass granted permission for the attorneys involved to obtain Martens’ personnel file from the FBI for discovery, as well as Department of Social Services records.
“The state has given notice to the (defendants) in this particular matter aggravating factors that the state would intend to offer,” Davidson County Assistant District Attorney Greg Brown said. “That would be aggravating factor No. 7, that the offense was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.”
Brown said in courtroom remarks that there are over 5,000 pages of discovery. The case continues to draw national and international attention.
The media attention has covered all aspects of the case, including a custody battle. Jason Corbett had two children, both of whom are now in the custody of Corbett’s sister and brother-in-law in Ireland after a custody battle with Molly Corbett, who is the stepmother.
Meanwhile, Brown said he is hopeful the case will be tried this year. The prosecutor said there has been no determination for any plea arrangement by the district attorney’s office. The next administrative hearing is scheduled for the week of 4 April.
This article was first published on Dispatch.com.