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Dublin: -2°C Sunday 11 April 2021

US judge orders retrial of father and daughter convicted of killing Irishman Jason Corbett

A judge today ruled that a retrial should be held and said that “prejudiucial” errors had been made.

Jason Corbett
Jason Corbett

A JUDGE IN the US state of North Carolina has ordered the retrial of a father and daughter who had been convicted of killing Irishman Jason Corbett in his home five years ago. 

Corbett (39) was found dead in his home in the US and had suffered an apparent beating. 

His wife Molly Martens and her father, a former FBI agent Thomas Martens, were convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 20-25 years for the crime.

However, a judge today ruled that a retrial should be held and said that “prejudicial” errors had been made. 

According to local media, the Winston Salem Journal and WXII, the judge ruled: “Due to a number of prejudicial errors apparent within the record, we reverse the judgments entered upon Defendants’ convictions for second-degree murder and remand for a new trial.”

“Having thoroughly reviewed the record and transcript, it is evident that this is the rare case in which certain evidentiary errors, alone and in the aggregate, were so prejudicial as to inhibit defendants’ ability to present a full and meaningful defence.”

Thomas Martens has always maintained that he was acting in self-defence when he struck his son-in-law with a baseball bat. 

Police found the body of Jason Corbett, 39, in the early morning hours of 2 August 2015, in the bedroom of the house he shared with his wife, Molly, and his two children, Jack and Sarah, from his previous marriage.

corb Source: Davidson County Sheriff's Office

During the trial in the summer of 2017, Davidson County prosecutors alleged that Molly Corbett and Thomas Martens beat Jason to death with a concrete paving brick and a 28-inch Louisville Slugger baseball bat. According to a medical examiner who testified at trial, Jason was struck in the head at least 12 different times and his skull was crushed.

A full ruling on the case will be made available later today. 

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