dr martens size 2 Closing arguments begin in murder trial of Thomas Martens
LEXINGTON In closing arguments Monday, Davidson County prosecutors alleged that former FBI agent Thomas Martens and his daughter Molly Corbett brutally bludgeoned Irish businessman Jason Corbett to death with a metal bat and a concrete paving brick and then concocted a story of self defense to cover up their crime.
But attorneys for Molly Corbett said prosecutors had failed to provide any compelling evidence that disproves what Martens and Molly Corbett told investigators Aug. 2, 2015, the day Jason Corbett died : that Jason Corbett choked and threatened to kill Molly Corbett and Martens struck him with the baseball bat in an effort to protect himself and his daughter.
After closing arguments finish Tuesday, the jury of nine women and three men will start the process of determining whether Molly Corbett, 33, who was married to Jason Corbett, and her father, Martens, 67, are guilty of second degree murder. The jurors also have the option of finding Martens and Molly Corbett guilty of voluntary manslaughter or not guilty. The difference between second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter is that second degree murder requires malice.
“We will never know whether Jason Corbett tried to cry out, whether he begged for his life or whether he thought of his children” as his wife and father in law beat him to death, Assistant District Attorney Greg Brown said in closing arguments Monday. “Jason can’t speak to you but his blood speaks the truth and cries out for justice.”
Found in master bedroom
Jason Corbett was found bludgeoned to death in the master bedroom in his home at 160 Panther Creek Court in the Meadowlands, a golf course community in Davidson County. He shared the house with Molly Corbett, his second wife, and his two children from his first marriage. The couple met in 2008 when Molly Corbett traveled to Ireland from Tennessee to work as an au pair, or nanny, for Jason Corbett’s children, Jack and Sarah. The two began dating, marrying in Tennessee in 2011 and settling in Davidson County.
Brown argued that the physical evidence in the case contradicts the self defense claims of Molly Corbett and Martens. When paramedics arrived at the house, they found Jason Corbett nude on the floor. He had flaky dried blood on his face and chest, Brown said.
A vacuum cleaner in the bedroom also had flaky dried blood on it. Based on how the blood was spattered on the vacuum, it appeared it was moved before paramedics arrived and crime scene photos were taken, Brown said. Aug. 2, 2015, testified that Martens didn’t seem out of breath after he had performed at least two rounds of CPR on Jason Corbett, Brown said. Molly Corbett didn’t seem out of breath, either, Brown said.
Martens and Molly Corbett also had no blood on their hands, even though they said they performed CPR on Jason Corbett’s bloody chest, Brown said. That indicates that Martens and Molly Corbett lied about performing CPR,
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.
Dr. Craig Nelson, a medical examiner, testified that Jason Corbett had 10 impact sites on his head, two of which were complex lacerations that indicated he was struck more than once, Brown said. In other words, Jason Corbett was struck in the head at least 12 times. Brown argued that Jason Corbett had blunt force injuries all over his body, including his torso, his hands and his knees.
Brown also alleged that even though prosecutors don’t have to prove motive, Molly Corbett may have had her reasons to kill Jason Corbett a house that Jason Corbett paid cash for; a desire to adopt his children, which Jason Corbett had rejected; and a $600,000 life insurance policy through Jason Corbett’s company. Department of Energy. Lowry testified that two months before Jason Corbett died, Martens said he hated Jason. Martens denied saying he hated Jason Corbett but acknowledged on the witness stand that he disliked his son in law.
Brown said the statements showed malice on Martens’ part.
He also noted the testimony of Stuart James, the blood stain pattern expert, who said in court that Jason Corbett was beaten at one point while he was close to the ground and that blood spatter on a wall near where he was found indicates that he was being struck as he was falling. Aug. 2, 2015. That statement is recorded. Lt. Wanda Thompson, head of the criminal investigations unit at the sheriff’s office, testified about Molly Corbett’s statements.
“She shows you a little piece of paper,” he said. “They (prosecutors) have the burden. Do they show you Molly’s interview? That alone would be a show stopper. ‘Hold on. Something is not right. You talk to this woman at 6 or 7 in the morning for an hour and you’re not going to let us see what she has to say.'”
Holton said prosecutors want jurors to ignore other things that would raise reasonable doubt, like a picture that shows a piece of hair on Jason Corbett’s right hand.
“They didn’t test it,” he said. “They didn’t seize it. They didn’t preserve it.”
Investigators also didn’t bother to take a look at what Holton said is a mark on Molly Corbett’s neck that might indicate that Jason Corbett had cut her, Holton told jurors. Investigators never had that mark tested nor did they have Jason Corbett’s fingers tested to see if Molly Corbett’s DNA was there.
James didn’t even consider whether Molly Corbett might have been strangled, even though she told paramedics that her throat hurt and she had trouble swallowing, Holton said.
“The prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Molly was not strangled and they bring in an expert who doesn’t even answer it,” he said.
He told the jurors that they don’t know what kind of fear Molly Corbett and Martens had that morning because they weren’t there.
“When you go back, close your eyes and ask yourselves what fear did Molly Corbett and Thomas Martens have,
” Holton said.