The family of murdered Irish businessman Jason Corbett, 39, will travel to the US next month to demand that the retrial of his killers Tom and Molly Martens be given priority before Christmas.
The Corbett family will urge North Carolina prosecutors to urgently arrange the retrial – and warn that the ongoing legal delays are “an absolute nightmare” for Mr Corbett’s two orphaned children, Jack, 17, and Sarah, 15. , were.
Judge David Hall will host a pretrial hearing with prosecutors and defense attorneys in Lexington, Davidson County on September 21 regarding the retrial.
This hearing will come six months after a tentative retrial last March – and four months after a trial date was originally supposed to be confirmed.
Justice delayed is justice denied. That’s the message we’re going to take to North Carolina next month
Independent.ie has confirmed that three members of the Corbett family – Jason’s three siblings, Tracey, Marilyn and Wayne – wrote to Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank this week seeking clarification on the September 21 hearing.
Tracey Corbett-Lynch – who has spearheaded the campaign for justice for her brother – declined to comment on the matter on legal grounds.
She is expected as a witness in the retrial.
However, a family spokesman confirmed family members will be traveling to North Carolina for the Sept. 21 hearing — and would like confirmation of an October or November retrial date.
This means that the retrial could be completed before Christmas.
“Our priority is to get justice done for Jason and to protect his two children. This court case has now hung over Jack and Sarah’s heads for seven years since their father was murdered (2015) and they were orphaned,” the announcer said.
“It is simply unacceptable that a retrial is being staged in 2023, when Jason’s killers will have two years off their prison sentences.
“Justice delayed is justice denied. That’s the message we’re going to take to North Carolina next month.
“We want to reiterate our complete faith in North Carolina prosecutors and the U.S. judicial system. We will not rest until justice is done for Jason.”
Mr Corbett’s Limerick-based family have pleaded for clarification on the situation over the retrial after being in the dark since March exactly when it would take place.
The family was so desperate for information that they asked Secretary of State Simon Coveney and the State Department for help.
Her concerns are reinforced by the fact that Jack and Sarah face exam years in Ireland where Jack is scheduled to take his Leaving Cert.
Family members believe the continued delays in the trial were deeply unfair to the two children, who are now set to testify unlike at the original 2017 trial.
Mr Corbett’s two children faced their stepmother and step-grandfather at the hearing in March for the first time since their father was beaten to death in the bedroom of his North Carolina home in August 2015.
Her father, a packaging executive, was beaten to death in his bedroom with a concrete block and a metal baseball bat.
The 2017 trial heard he had been tried to drug and was beaten even after he was dead. Tom and Molly Martens were then reluctant to call emergency services to make sure he was dead when they arrived.
Mr Corbett, who was a widower, had refused to sign adoption papers to give his American second wife equal rights over his two children.
His family firmly believes he was killed because he was about to bring his two children back to Ireland amid increasing concerns about his wife’s mental health and increasingly bizarre behavior.
Forsyth County Judge Hall, who was specifically appointed to hear the retrial, has warned both prosecutors and the defense that no comment on the case can be made to the media without his consent.
Judge Hall is a former prosecutor.
“This case has, it is fair to say, received a tremendous amount of media coverage through what I consider to be news media and what I consider to be entertainment media,” Justice Hall said.
He said his priority is making sure justice is done – and media rights must be balanced against this.
Judge Hall issued an order specifically forbidding the prosecution or defense teams, or their associates or agents, from making out-of-court statements about the case.
We are here for one reason and that is to serve justice
He also said he would not allow what he described as “media exploitation” to undermine the workings of the justice system.
“My only rule is to make sure these parties get a fair trial, with no outside forces involved. We are here for one reason and that is to serve justice.”
Mr. Martens, a former FBI agent, and his daughter Molly were convicted of the second-degree murder of Jason Corbett in August 2017 after a five-week trial and sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison.
However, they later won a retrial after a challenge in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Both served three and a half years in prison before being released early last year.
The father and daughter insisted they acted in self-defense and that Mr Corbett assaulted his wife.
While both Tom and Molly Martens were found at the scene completely unharmed, Mr Corbett’s skull was so badly crushed that a pathologist was unable to accurately count the number of blows.
The Irish businessman’s life insurance policy had recently been amended to ensure Ms Martens was the only beneficiary to the exclusion of his two children.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/our-priority-is-to-see-justice-jason-corbetts-family-will-travel-to-us-to-urge-priority-over-retrial-of-his-killers-41934155.html ‘Our priority is to see justice’ – Jason Corbett’s family will travel to the US to demand priority over a retrial of his killers