On August 2, 2015, 39-year-old Jason Corbett was found bludgeoned to death in his North Carolina home. On Wednesday, Corbett’s wife, Molly, 33, and her father, Thomas Martens, 67, were convicted of the second-degree murder of Mr. Corbett.
Martens has held that he was defending his daughter who was being choked by Corbett on the night of August 2. He maintains that he attacked Corbett with a baseball bat to protect his daughter. ABC reports him as telling 911 the night of Corbett’s death: “He was choking my daughter, he said, ‘I’m going to kill her.’ He’s bleeding all over and I may have killed him.”
In trial, the prosecution argued that none of Martens or his daughter’s injuries hint at self-defense and that Molly was an “emotionally volatile woman”. They claim Molly’s motive for the killing was her wish to adopt Jason’s two children from his previous marriage.
Read on to learn more about Thomas Martens.
1. He Was Convicted of Second-Degree Murder on Wednesday
On Wednesday, a North Carolina jury found Martens and his daughter guilty of killing Jason Corbett with a baseball bat after years of alleged abuse, according to reports obtained by People. The jury deliberation took less than 5 hours.
Martens says he was protecting his daughter, and adds on that she may not be around today if he had not intervened.
Speaking to ABC after the verdict was announced, one juror, Miriam Figueroa, said, “The evidence to me did not suggest that the story that was fabricated ever occurred… There was no doubt in my mind that I made and my fellow jurors made the right choice.”
2. He Worked as an FBI Agent for 31 Years
Martens worked as an FBI agent for 31 years.
Tonight, in her interview with ABC News, Molly Martens Corbett, a former model and swim coach, discusses the impact the incident has had on her life. “It makes me feel like, you know, I’ve ruined his life. That I’ve impacted my whole family,” she says. “And it’s not a good feeling.”
She adds on that she feels “horrible” about what she’s done to her father after he’s dedicated a lifetime of service to the US.
3. He Will Serve a Minimum of 20 Years
Martens will serve a minimum of 20-years in prison. According to the the Independent, he faces up to 25 years if the North Carolina Parole Board does not decide to grant them maximum remission.
Molly Martens-Corbett is being held at the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women, and will likely undergo psychiatric evaluation. Martens is in protective custody in the Central Prison in Raleigh. The Independent reports that Central Prison has the capacity to house nearly 1,200 inmates– many with gang affiliations, and “virtually all convicted murderers in the northern part of North Carolina.”
4. Experts Testified That the Blood Spatter Patterns Proved Corbett Suffered Blows to His Head After He Was Already down
In trial, experts testified that the physical evidence contradicts the defendants’ story. The experts focused on the blood spatter patterns, which they said prove Corbett was hit in the head with the bat after he was already on the ground, according to ABC.
On the stand, Martens testified that his daughter struck Jason with a brick paving stone that was on her nightstand, but he didn’t see that.
Medical examiners have said Jason Corbett was hit at least 10 times in the head and that the cause of death was blunt force trauma. ABC writes, “Another major factor in their verdict decision, they said, was the gruesome crime scene photos. Perez said the first image of Jason Corbett’s body she saw was so graphic that she vomited in the North Carolina courtroom.”
5. His Wife Was Allegedly in the Home When the Incident Occurred
Multiple reports allege that both Thomas and his wife, Sharon, were in the home the night of the incident.
Journal Now spoke to Tom Aamland, the jury foreman, after the verdict was announced. Reflecting on the case, Aamland said many jurors wondered why Molly had a brick in the bedroom. He also said jurors were curious why Sharon didn’t hear anything.
Assistant District Attorney Greg Brown raised a similar point. An article in the Winston-Salem Journal reads:
Brown also noted that even though Martens testified that there had been a life-and-death struggle between him, Molly Corbett and Jason Corbett, Sharon Martens, Thomas Martens’ wife and Molly’s mother, remained in the guest bedroom in the basement. She did not call 911 nor did she come upstairs to see if her daughter was OK.
Sharon attended the trial with her brother, Michael Earnest, and her sons, Bobby and Connor.