Davidson County murder case makes front-page news in Ireland; Why the case of Molly Corbett, Tom Martens is such a big deal overseas

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — The release of Molly Corbett and Tom Martens is reigniting attention overseas. 

In 2017, the two were convicted of killing Molly’s husband, Jason Corbett, who was originally from Ireland. 

The North Carolina Supreme Court’s recent decision to grant the pair a new case is front page news in that country. 

“Straight away Irish people felt a certain bond and a certain sense of just shock at this, at the killing of an Irish man,” said Paul Healy, the chief reporter at the Irish Daily Star. 

Healy and several other Irish journalists have been reporting on the case since Martens and his daughter were accused of killing Jason Corbett in 2015. 

“The story of the tragedy for the Corbett family, he had already lost his first wife and then there was the element of the two children who were involved, I think that was quite a part of this,” said Suzanne Lynch, the Washington correspondent for the Irish Times. 

Recent headlines following Molly Corbett and Tom Martens release read, “Bail granted to killers” and “Killers out of jail.” 

Lynch says the story in Ireland is often reported through the prism of the Corbett family. Jason Corbett’s sister is very vocal and a fierce defender of her brother’s memory. Reporters says she is often sending out press releases and campaigning for justice. 

“It’s not that the media is taking sides or formulating an opinion on the case, it is more the local aspect of it. Jason Corbett was an Irish man, and the family here are Irish. There’s a perspective here and there’s a perspective in the states obviously,” said Healy. 

Lynch says the case is a “cross border battle and where justice is going be done becomes a huge issue.”

She also says reports of state prosecutors offering a plea deal is being met by widespread opposition in Ireland. 

As the case has progressed, public support in Ireland continues to grow for the Corbett family. 

“There was a lot of sympathy for the Corbett family and there still is to this day. You know a lot of people in Ireland do feel, especially with the recent developments, that there was an injustice here,” said Healy.

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