(ABC NEWS) – A former FBI agent and his daughter today were found guilty of killing the daughter’s husband.
A Davidson County, North Carolina, jury found Thomas Martens, 67, who worked with the FBI for over 30 years, and his 33-year-old daughter, Molly Corbett, guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Corbett’s 39-year-old husband, Jason Corbett, meaning they unanimously believed that Jason Corbett had been killed out of malice. Molly Corbett and Martens both claimed self-defense and that they acted in defense of each other.
When the verdict was announced, Molly Corbett was heard saying, “I’m really sorry to my mom, he should have just killed me.”
Today, both received the same sentence of a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of 25 years, which had been recommended by the prosecution.
Martens and Molly Corbett alleged that on Aug. 2, 2015, Martens came to his daughter’s defense after Jason Corbett allegedly attacked her. In a 911 call from that night, Martens is heard telling the operator that he hit Jason Corbett “in the head with a baseball bat.”
“He was choking my daughter, he said, ‘I’m going to kill her,'” Martens told 911 that night. “He’s bleeding all over and I may have killed him.”
During the trial, the jury was shown the recovered baseball bat and a paving stone prosecutors said Molly Corbett used to hit her husband. The medical examiner report said Jason Corbett was hit at least 10 times and the cause of death was ruled to be from blunt force trauma.
Prosecutors called it a brutal murder, with investigators testifying that Molly Corbett and her father didn’t appear to have any injuries. The defense, on cross-examining a crime scene investigator on the case, argued that the investigator failed to collect or notice evidence that night, including an alleged mark on Molly Corbett’s neck, hair under Jason Corbett’s fingernails and blood on Jason Corbett’s feet — all allegedly pointing to a struggle.
Members of Jason Corbett’s family from Ireland were present in court for the trial and his sister Tracey Lynch testified on behalf of the prosecution. Molly Corbett did not take the stand, but the judge offered her a chance to speak after the verdict was announced.
“I did not murder my husband. My father did not murder my husband,” she said.
The defense claimed during trial that Jason was an abusive husband and after the verdict, Molly told the court, “the incidents occurred as they did on a somewhat regular basis, the difference is that my father was there.”
Molly Corbett first met Jason Corbett in his native Ireland in 2008, where she went to be an au pair for his two young children after their biological mother died. Three years later, Molly and Jason Corbett got married and moved to an upscale neighborhood in Winston-Salem. After the murder, Molly Corbett fought for custody of Jason Corbett’s children but guardianship was granted to Lynch.
“Jason will be remembered for who he was, not for how he died,” Lynch said today.