Molly, Thomas Martens sentenced for murder of Jason Corbett

The two were found guilty of second degree murder

Molly, Thomas Martens sentenced for murder of Jason Corbett

Molly Martens Corbett

Updated: 18.45

Thomas Martens and Molly Martens have been sentenced to between 20 and 25 years in prison for the murder of Irish man Jason Corbett.

A jury found them guilty of second degree murder earlier.

The nine women and three men were sent out by the judge on Tuesday to consider their verdict in the death of the Limerick native.

After deliberating for three hours and 20 minutes, a verdict of guilty of second degree murder was delivered.

The 39-year-old was beaten to death with a baseball bat and paving stone at his home in North Carolina two years ago.

The prosecution argued the pair beat Mr Corbett while his two children slept.

He shared the house with his second wife, Molly Martens, and his two children from a first marriage.

Molly Martens and her father Thomas denied the second degree murder charge.

Thomas Michael Martens

The pair claimed they acted in self-defence.

The case heard that they delayed making a 911 call and pretended to carry out CPR.

The jurors had the option of finding them guilty of second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or not guilty.

The difference between second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter is that second-degree murder requires malice.

Speaking in Limerick, Jason Corbett's twin brother Wayne says the jury delivered the right verdict.

Jason Corbett's sister, Tracey Lynch, spoke outside court:

Alex Rose is a reporter with WGHP in North Carolina.

He told Newstalk Drive there were high emotions in the courtroom in the closing stages of the trial.

"Molly just broke out in tears when she heard the guilty verdict".

"We heard a letter from Jack Corbett, Jason's son, of how the loss of his father - there's so many things he's going to miss out with.

"There wasn't really a dry eye in that courtroom, even the State's Attorney reading the letter (was) very chocked up during that time.

"There was also a realisation when they were both sentenced to 20 to 25 years, with Thomas Martens being 67-years-old, the defence mentioned he will likely die in prison".

Molly Martens spoke to Newstalk Breakfast back in August 2015, where she talked about the last time she saw her two step-children.

Also speaking in August 2015, Molly Martens uncle Mike Earnest described the meeting.

Additional reporting: Sinéad Spain and David Raleigh