LEXINGTON, N.C. — New arguments were presented Monday morning for Molly Corbett and Thomas Martens, years after they were each sentenced to 20-25 years in prison on second-degree murder charges in Jason Corbett’s death.
Corbett and Martens were sentenced in 2017, and both defense attorneys filed appeals after the sentencing.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that Corbett and Martens were unable to present a meaningful defense during their 2017 trial.
“Essentially what the court was saying was by not allowing us to present evidence that was relevant and competent, we were deprived of a fair jury trial,” Freedman explained.
The conviction means the jury unanimously believed the killing was done in malice.
Moments after the 2017 verdict was announced, Corbett broke out crying while Martens remained quiet. Before being taken into custody, Corbett turned to her mother and said she’s “really sorry.”
The two claimed self-defense during the trial.
Jury foreman Tom Ammland said the decision did not come easily. The group voted 12-0 for Martens to receive second-degree murder, but were stuck at 10-2 for Corbett.
”After going over some of the evidence and discussing it, the clothing and proximity to the attack, we felt that she could have gotten out of that situation but chose to stay,” Ammland said.
Testimony and 911 calls show Martens came to his daughter’s defense the night of Aug. 3, 2015, when he says he saw Jason choking Molly. He says he intervened with a baseball bat.
Testimony from doctors at the scene shows Corbett was hit in the head 10 times with a baseball bat and cement brick. His autopsy shows he died from blunt force trauma to the head.
For Ammland and the rest of the jury, they hope both sides will now be able to find peace.
“There are no winners in this case. everybody loses to some degree and we all agreed on that,” Ammland said.
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