Molly and Thomas Martens could be released from prison today
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Molly and Thomas Martens could be released from prison today

A FATHER and daughter previously convicted of the murder of Irish man Jason Corbett in the US could be released from prison later today. 

It follows a decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court to uphold the verdict of a lower court to grant Thomas and Molly Martens 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. 

Molly and Tom Martens maintained throughout the initial trial that they had acted in self-defence when they beat Jason Corbett to death, but were convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison following a trial in 2017. 

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They appeal the convictions, claiming they did not receive a fair trial as crucial evidence was excluded that could have supported their self-defence claims  

These included statements Corbett's children gave to social workers which the defendants say should have been allowed as evidence. 

Jason Corbett was killed at his home in North Carolina in August 2015. (Picture: RTÉ)

In February 2020, the North Carolina Court of Appeal ruled that Molly and Thomas were entitled to a new trial. That decision has now been upheld by the North Carolina Supreme Court. 

Corbett’s surviving sister, Tracey Corbett Lynch, has since revealed that she has learned that prosecutors are set to officer a plea deal to the Martens rather than seek a retrial, however the District Attorney for Davidson County, has refused to confirm or deny those claims. 

Corbett’s brother, John P Corbett has also written to Joe Biden to express his “dismay” at this potential development. The US President has yet to respond. 

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