Corbett family ‘deeply disappointed’ by the early release of Tom and Molly Martens from prison

The family of Jason Corbett from Limerick, who was murdered by his American wife and father-in-law, Molly and Tom Martens, who are being released early from two US prisons, say they are “deeply disappointed” by the move.

The pair admitted killing the father-of-two in a plea deal in which they admitted manslaughter last year and were released on Thursday, three weeks before the set date of June 27, due to time previously spent in separate prisons.

Mr Corbett was murdered eight years ago at his home in Panther Creek, North Carolina in the US by his second wife, American Molly (40) and her father, a former FBI agent Tom Martens (73), by the couple with a paving stone and a baseball bat as he slept in bed on August 2, 2015.

His two children, Jack and Sarah, were in the house when the father was killed. They now live in Limerick with their aunt and uncle, Tracey Corbett Lynch, and her husband, David.

In a statement released by the Corbett family via social media platforms, the family said that after a nine-year fight for justice, “we are deeply disappointed” by the impending release of Tom and Molly Martens, “the individuals responsible for the senseless and brutal murder of Jason, leaving his two children orphaned.”

They describe how Mr Corbett was “drugged” and that “they (Martens) hit him with a rock and a baseball bat when he could not defend himself. They left the room without a mark on any of them.”

The Corbett family stated that they believe that the “heinous actions” of Tom and Molly Martens not only claimed Mr. Corbett’s life in a “maliciously, cruelly and cruelly” manner, but that they also “want to tarnish his reputation and want to use children in a selfish attempt to avoid responsibility.”

The statement adds: “Molly Martens ruthlessly placed Jack and Sarah at the center of her attempt to evade justice with a web of lies, while refusing to take the stand to give evidence herself.

“Her cruelty, disregard and treatment of two children under the age of ten, whose biological mother had died, the father she had just beaten to death and whom she claimed to love, was inhumane. Despite the severity of their crime and the enormous loss they caused, they will be released today after serving just four years and three months.

They point out that Martens’ lack of remorse over the “irreparable damage” caused to Mr Corbett’s children, whom they were “callously orphaned”, is a stark reminder to all of their callous disregard for human life and decency.

The family noted that during the lengthy legal proceedings “they (Marten) put their own interests ahead of the deep suffering they had caused innocent children.

“Justice is twofold for criminals like Tom and Molly Martens. While they may have completed the sentence imposed by the court, they now bear the lasting burden of their actions – forever knowing that they have destroyed a noble life.”

The Corbett’s note that as a family they “know the truth, they know the truth. Soon the world will know the full truth. Their legacy is one of undeniable guilt, exposed to an intelligent public – who, when they look at the facts and evidence, recognize their evil actions on August 2, 2015, without the shield of legal technicalities.”

The businessman’s family vows to tirelessly uphold his honorable legacy and seek justice to preserve his memory.

They conclude: “Amid this somber occasion, we take comfort in the fact that Jack and Sarah, the remarkable children Jason left behind, are growing into exceptional individuals that he would undoubtedly be proud of. We remain steadfast in our pursuit of truth, justice and the protection of Jason’s precious memory.”

The family expressed their “sincere gratitude” for the continued support of the communities of Davidson County, North Carolina and Limerick, Ireland, who stood by their side throughout their “harrowing ordeal that no family should have to endure.”

The pair were jailed for a minimum of seven and a maximum of 23 months at Davidson County Court last November for Mr Corbett’s manslaughter.

The pair had already spent 44 months in prison after being convicted of manslaughter for 20 and 25 years in 2017 after their convictions were overturned on appeal.

Prison authorities made an administrative error in releasing the Martens late last year, allowing them all to walk free on December 5 and 6 – just four weeks after their sentencing.

The mistake was made by North Carolina Department of Corrections officials when it was also revealed that the father and daughter were both still in Davidson County Jail instead of state prison. They were then moved.

Supporters of the Corbett and Lynch families have consistently called for an apology. Ms Corbett Lynch said in December that the mistake on Tom and Molly Martens’ release date after they served just an extra month behind bars was “an insult to Jason’s memory and our family”.

The children of the late Mr Corbett and his late first wife Mag, Jack (19), a university student, and Sarah (17), who is now sitting her Leaving Cert, read statements in court last November about how their deaths father and life in the US influenced them.

The Corbett family has fought continuously to seek justice for Mr Corbett since his death almost nine years ago.

Sarah previously said online that the early release of her father’s killers means: “It is important that individuals are given the opportunity to heal and recover from their trauma rather than experience more of it. No justice.”

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