LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A judge in Davidson County decided Molly Corbett and her father Thomas Martens will spend more time in prison.
The pair were sentenced to four to years six in prison but will only serve seven months to two more years after receiving credit for the three years and eight months they’ve already served.
Molly agreed to a plea deal. She pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the death of her husband Jason Corbett, and Martens pleaded guilty to the same charge.
In Aug. 2015, Martens claims he witnessed Jason hurting Molly, and he reacted by beating Jason with a baseball bat and a concrete paving block.
Molly and Martens looked solemn as they left the Davidson County courthouse for the last time Wednesday after Judge David Hall made his decision to sentence them to more time in prison.
This came after eight days of emotional testimony inside the courtroom that walked the judge through the case detail by detail, beginning even before Jason was killed in 2015.
The defense, separate counsel for Molly and Martens argued Jason Corbett was an abusive husband.
They also allege he had a hand in the death of his first wife, the mother of his two children Sarah and Jack.
We spoke to Sarah last week, who was only eight years old when her dad was killed.
“Me and my brother are both survivors of domestic violence, and my dad was a victim,” she said.
In court, both Sarah, 17, and her brother Jack, 19, said they felt manipulated and abused by their stepmother Molly, alleging she painted their father in a violent light. During the time they read their statements on Wednesday, people in court sobbed.
Sarah and Jack were able to share eight years of raw emotion, saying their lives were immeasurably altered by the death of their father, leaving them orphans.
During their statements, Molly was visibly emotional.
“I think that was very difficult for her to listen to,” said Jay Vannoy, attorney for her father.
Sarah and jack endured the first trial in their father’s death back in 2017 when Molly and Martens were originally sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison.
That’s when they spent more than three and a half years in prison before their sentence was overturned after allegations of jury misconduct in 2021.
A second trial was expected, but time passed, and Molly and Martens took the plea deal last week and put their fate in the hands of Hall.
“It’s been a long eight years, and … We hope going forward, there can be some modicum of calming down,” said Jones Byrd, attorney for Martens.
Over the course of eight days, Sarah and Jack came to the courtroom and listened to the details of their father’s death..
They heard first responder testimony detailing how their father was found.
They heard Molly’s side. Jason was accused of choking her. Martens, a former FBI agent, simply snapped they said, hitting Jason with a bat then a concrete paver.
Martens’ lawyers said their client has regrets.
“Something happened in that room caused him to do that, and he’s having to pay for that, so 51 months are more than just,” Vannoy said.
The judge said in sentencing on Wednesday that he did not understand whyMartens or his wife Sharon who was also in the house didn’t call 911 before things went too far.
Hall also pointed out neither Molly nor her father were particularly disheveled after what happened.
He said the case was full of holes, and he did not know the truth, but Sarah and Jack needed to know they should never blame themselves.
The pair spent Wednesday night at the Davidson County Jail, awaiting paperwork to transfer to their respective detention centers to serve seven months to two years more.