Jurors in 39-year-old Jason Corbett’s murder trial are convinced the pair suspected in the case devised a story which did not match up with evidence.
Jason’s wife, Molly Martens Corbett and her father, Thomas Martens, were convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder for the brutal beating and killing of the father of two the night of August 2, 2015.
Martens Corbett met her Irish spouse back in 2008 when he hired her as a nanny to care for his two young children after his previous wife passed away from a heart attack. The two quickly grew romantically involved, and eventually relocated their family to North Carolina.
With time, Molly said Jason became more controlling as well as physically and verbally abusive — a claim his two children also admitted during questioning.
Martens Corbett alleged Jason choked her the night of his death, when her father, who was present at the home, intervened with a baseball bat. Molly and her dad testified in court that they were trying to protect one another in the violent event that turned fatal.
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Molly Martens Corbett (left) and her father, Thomas Martens (right) were convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder for the killing of Jason Corbett
The pair first met and became romantically involved when Molly worked as a nanny for Jason’s two children after his first wife Margaret (right) passed away
Molly said Jason became more controlling and physically and verbally abusive as time went on
Molly took on the role as mom to the kids after Jason’s previous wife passed away
Members of the jury told ABC in a 20/20 interview that some events suggested by the two from the night never seem to have occurred.
Juror Miriam Figueroa believes the choking incident did not take place, as an autopsy report confirmed Jason died from blunt force trauma and had been hit several times after he had already been down on the ground. Molly also never had any reported injuries from the hospital at the time.
‘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,’ Figueroa said.
‘Once you hit a certain point and you do not stop, manslaughter or self-defense goes off the table. Once that point was matched where you could have stopped then and there, once the person was no longer an aggressor, if that were the case, and you continue, it’s no longer self-defense.’
Jury members told ABC in a 20/20 interview that some events suggested by the two from the night never seem to have occurred
Members of the jury believed the pair’s story was heavily fabricated and planned carefully
Figueroa claimed the duo allowed some time to pass before contacting 911, suggesting that, if they were victim in the event, the call would have been their top priority.
‘I think at some point dad came to help out and cover it up. There was blood on the pillow and on the comforter. That may have been the first blow, and then it progressed from that point where he got out of bed and she might have struck him more than one time in bed,’ Figueroa added.
Juror Nancy Perez revealed the crime scene photos showing Jason’s battered body were so horrendous, she ‘vomited in the courtroom.’
Martens Corbett, a former model, and her dad, a longtime FBI agent, did not hold a past criminal history.
It has been confirmed that Martens Corbett was previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but the illness was not a matter discussed during trial.
Prosecutors said a possible motive for the gruesome slaughter may have been for Martens Corbett to adopt the kids and to collect a $600,000 life insurance policy.
Martens Corbett (right) and her father (left) both received a sentence of a minimum of 20 years in prison with a maximum of 25 years
Martens Corbett was previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but the illness was not discussed in the trial
Martens was a longtime FBI agent and did not hold a past criminal history
In the several hour-long jury deliberation, Jury foreman Tom Aamland said several members were visibly upset while the difficult decision was underway.
‘There were tears. I even had a few tears there while the verdicts were being ran through, and it wasn’t an easy decision. Somebody’s life changes,’ Aamland told WFMY-TV.
Martens Corbett, who also spoke out in the 20/20 interview, said there were other past instances of choking from Jason, and even alleged that at one point, she passed out.
‘Sometimes he would be angry and choking me would turn into something sexual. Or sometimes the other way around,’ she said. ‘Everything always felt so real and so scary in the moment when it was happening.’
During the shocking interview, Molly revealed she sometimes questioned if the kind of abuse ever happened to Jason’s first wife, who passed away due to asthma complications in the middle of the night.
‘I knew it wasn’t an accident… The first time and second time and the third time and twentieth time that you are suffocated or strangled or someone holds their hand over your mouth, or a pillow over your face, and you can’t breathe for an extended period of time, you know, you think oh, well, his first wife died at three o’ clock in the morning and maybe that’s going to happen to me,’ Martens Corbett said.
Martens Corbett and her father both received a sentence of a minimum of 20 years in prison with a maximum of 25 years. They plan to appeal, according to ABC.