THE FAMILY of murdered Limerick man Jason Corbett have said they are 'devastated' to learn that his killers will be offered a plea deal in place of a retrial.
Molly and Tom Martens were convicted of murdering Jason, Molly's husband and Tom's son-in-law, in the family home in North Carolina in 2015.
Jason was killed in his bedroom in the middle of the night after being beaten with a baseball bat and paving stone by the Martens' at least ten times, with some evidence suggesting Jason may have been asleep when the first blow was dealt.
Jason's children, Jack and Sarah, then aged 10 and 8, were left orphaned; their mother, Mags, had died of an asthma attack in 2006, and Jason met Molly Martens when she was hired as a nanny for the children.
Molly and Tom Martens had maintained throughout the initial trial that they had acted in self-defense when they beat Jason Corbett to death, and swore to appeal their convictions since being sentences to life in prison in 2017.
Last year, the pair were granted a full retrial after it was decided they did not get a fair trial--some evidence was included when it shouldn't have been, and some was not allowed when it should have been, the court ruled.
Now the family have been dealt a further blow as they learn Jason's killers could be released from prison on bail as early as this week if they accept a plea deal.
In a statement last night, Tracey Corbett Lynch, Jason's sister and the legal guardian to Jack and Sarah, said they are "devastated that the District Attorney for Davidson County has decided to offer a plea deal and not seek a retrial of Tom and Molly Martens who admitted killing Jason Corbett, leaving his children, then aged 10 and eight, orphaned".
"The detectives provided ample evidence for the District Attorney to successfully prosecute Molly and Tom Martens for second degree murder in 2017. A jury unanimously convicted both."
"It is inexplicable", Ms Corbett Lynch said, that the District Attorney has chosen not to seek a retrial and will allow the Martens' to enter a plea deal instead.
She added "Today the District Attorney for Davidson County has let [Molly Martens] and her father get away with murder."