Police shielded Jason Corbett's children from "horrible" crime scene

The Corbett murder trial enters its ninth day today after a harrowing day of evidence yesterday

Police shielded Jason Corbett's children from "horrible" crime scene

Jason Corbett is seen in this undated file photo

The jury in the Jason Corbett murder trial has heard of how police had to ask the Limerick man's children to close their eyes as they left the scene.

Day nine of the Corbett murder trial continues in North Carolina today – with Mr Corbett’s wife Molly Martens Corbett and her father Thomas Martens both pleading not guilty and claiming they acted in self defence.

The court has already heard that Limerick man Mr Corbett suffered up to 12 blows to the head, his nose was broken and he had other injuries on his body.

The state pathologist told the court that he appeared to have sustained further injury after he died.

Traces of sleep medication - prescribed to his wife Molly Martens 3 days before his death - were also found in his blood.

Irish Independent journalist Ralph Riegel is in the US covering the case:

“There was a little girl and little boy,” he said. “They are Mr Corbett’s two children.”

“They were both asleep and thankfully they were unaware of what had happened downstairs.

“The police officers carried the two children, they told them to turn their heads into the police officers necks and to close their eyes and the police officers went down the stairs backwards effectively making sure that the children did not see the blood from their father’s fatal head injuries in the hallway and in the bedroom downstairs.”

The court heard from paramedics who described Mr Corbett's bedroom as 'a horrible scene.'

Earlier, proceedings had to be paused when a female juror became physically ill after viewing post-mortem photographs.

The woman had to briefly leave the courtroom after retching in the jury box when she was shown post-mortem photographs depicting Mr Corbett's skull injuries.

“A female juror got sick and actually had to get up and go to the jury room to recover,” said Mr Riegel. “Now she did recover and she was able to resume her place on the jury of nine women and three men.”

“It proceeded then through a very difficult day of evidence because we dealt with not only the photographs of Jason Corbett from the post-mortem examination but we got detailed evidence from the pathologist Craig Nelson who went through the manner and the scale of the injuries that Jason Corbett sustained.”

The trial continues today when the court expects to hear more testimony from members of the emergency services who attended the scene.