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By Evoke Staff
Lawyers for Molly Martens claim her husband was drunk and on antidepressants, which caused him to fly into a violent rage on the night he was killed.
Ms Martens, 32, and her father Thomas Martens, 65, are charged with second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter of Limerick man Jason Corbett last August.
The father-of-two was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat and a paving stone at his North Carolina home, a postmortem showed.
Molly Martens’ lawyers claim her husband Jason was drunk and on antidepressants. Pic:John Cogill
He died at his home in the early hours of August 2 and a 911 call reporting the incident was made by Mr Martens at 3.04am.
Ms Martens, a former model, and her retired FBI agent father pleaded not guilty to the charges, claiming they acted in self-defence.
An ABC report in the US this week said the defence were claiming the medical autopsy report had found traces of an antidepressant drug in the father of two’s system.
The autopsy report did find that Mr Corbett had a blood alcohol content of 0.02%, below the legal limit of 0.08% for the state.
His toxicology report also showed traces of Trazodone – less than 0.50mg – a drug used to treat depression and in some cases prescribed to treat Bipolar.
Molly Martens’ lawyers have claimed Jason was physically abusive
Walter Holton, attorney for Ms Martens, said: ‘The medical examiner report indicates that some 30 hours after his death they drew the blood and that blood had an alcohol content of 0.02% but it’s not indicative of what the content of his blood would have been on the night that this incident happened.’
The examination of Mr Corbett’s body was carried out on August 3 at 10.05am at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Mr Holton told ABC: ‘[Mr Corbett] was violent that night, what caused that, whether alcohol contributed to that or whether a drug contributed to that is for experts to opine about.
‘There will be testimony of witnesses about their relationship but anyone who chokes their wife at three o’clock in the morning to the point where a 911 call ensues, that is what I call physically abusive,’ he added.
Speaking to EVOKE.ie previously Molly Martens lawyer David Freedman said Molly had been on ‘antidepressants’ when she was very young but had ‘not been on medications for years and years.’
It followed allegations by Molly’s sister in law Tracey Lynch in court filings after her brother’s death that Molly had been ‘diagnosed with bipolar disorder from a young age, and claimed the children’s stepmother left her lithium medication lying around, and also suffered from other medical conditions.’
Ms Martens, a former model, and her retired FBI agent father Thomas claim they acted in self defence
The father and daughter were each released on bonds of $200,000 in January and were ordered to surrender their passports and not have any contact with Jason Corbett’s family including his children, Jack and Sarah.
The case is due back in court in May.
After a lengthy custody battle last year, Jack and Sarah, the children of Mr Corbett and his late first wife Mags, are in the care of their father’s sister Tracey Lynch and her husband David.
At an administrative hearing earlier this month at Davidson County Superior Court, Walter Holton, said Molly was being threatened via social media.
He said people from the Justice For Jason page on Facebook have extended threats to Ms Martens’s uncle and aunt, Mike and Mona Earnest.
The Martens’s lawyers also said that when they attempted to contact the family of Jason’s first wife, the family said they could not speak with attorneys because it would violate the court order.
Judge Kevin Bridges clarified that the court order only applies to Ms Martens.
A US judge this week also granted a stay on a court order that would have forced the return of several belongings taken from Jason Corbett’s home by his wife Molly after attorneys filed an appeal, which could be heard next month or June this year.
The murder trial is not expected to begin until the end of this year or early next year.
By Darren Hassett