Lawyers for Thomas and Molly Martens look to have Corbett trial verdict 'set aside'

A new motion alleges a number of interviews and social media posts by jurors show "juror misconduct"

Lawyers for Thomas and Molly Martens look to have Corbett trial verdict 'set aside'

Molly Martens Corbett

Lawyers for Thomas and Molly Martens are looking to have the verdict in the Jason Corbett murder trial 'set aside', alleging misconduct by some jurors.

The father and daughter were earlier this month sentenced to between 20 and 25 years in prison for the murder of the Irish man.

A jury found them guilty of second degree murder. The pair had claimed they acted in self-defence.

39-year-old Mr Corbett - who was married to Molly Martens - was beaten to death with a baseball bat and paving stone at his home in North Carolina two years ago.

In documents shared by US media, lawyers now argue: "The defendants respectfully move the court for appropriate relief in the form of setting aside the verdict of the jury [...] based upon juror misconduct.

"Post-trial, voluntary press interviews and social media posts of certain jurors portray juror misconduct throughout the proceeding."

They argue that the alleged misconduct includes 'private conversations' between jurors prior to closing arguments and during deliberations, as well as "forming and expressing opinions regarding defendant [Molly Martens] Corbett's character and mental state outside the evidence presented at trial".

A number of jurors have spoken to US media in the wake of the verdict last week.

Alex Rose is a reporter with WGHP in North Carolina, and spoke to Newstalk Drive about the latest motion.

Discussing the arguments being put forward by lawyers for the Martens, Alex explained: "Basically what they're claiming is that the jury in this case - because the defendants in America have right to a fair and impartial jury, and a fair trial - they're claiming several incidences of misconduct on behalf of the jury.

"What they're asking for is for the verdict - that guilty verdict on second degree murder - to actually be put aside. This is on top of the appeal that they've filed in North Carolina Court of Appeal, that should be heard around this time next year."

He added: "Obviously this one is a little more pressing. A judge is probably going to have to decide on this in the next couple of weeks."