LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — More new evidence was presented in the sentencing hearing of Molly Corbett and Thomas Martens.
Sheila Tyler is a social worker for Cabarrus County. She interviewed Jack, Sarah and Molly Corbett along with members of the Martens family the day after Jason Corbett was killed.
Tyler was acting in a support role for Davidson County Social Services.
First, she interviewed Sarah who told her she likes when her dad is not in the home. She told Tyler her father screams and yells at Molly. She shared Jason got angry regularly over leaving lights on and doors open, and when her parents would fight, she would stay in her room, sometimes for a long time.
Sarah said she was never physically abused but told the interviewer she saw her dad physically hurt Molly by smacking her, and Sarah and her brother Jack would run away and pretend not to see it.
Jack’s interview with Tyler was similar. He said he doesn’t want his parents to fight, and the fighting makes them sad. He and Sarah tried to stop Jason and Molly from fighting by pulling them apart.
Tyler also spoke to Molly who said she rarely felt safe, and Jason sometimes destroyed her belongings and furniture. She told Tyler that Jason would pressure her into sex and sometimes hold his hand over her mouth and nose, causing her to pass out.
She also told the interviewer Jack and Sarah would lie daily to protect her.
The court also heard a recording from Feb. 2015 taken by Molly at the Corbett family kitchen table. The court could hear an argument between Molly and Jason about dinner and the timeline of the day.
At one point, Sarah gets mad at Jason for yelling and asks if they’re going to fight. Both children ask Molly and Jason to stop fighting and try to change the subject.
At one point in the recording, Jason flips over a chair, and the kids yell. The state argued the recording was an attempt by Molly to manufacture evidence, but the defense countered saying she made the recording because there was a pattern of abuse.
The state and defense then argued over the significance of the children recanting their statements of abuse to the court years after they made them.
Jack told the court in 2016 that Molly told him what to say and said he wanted to see justice for his dad.
Sarah also recanted her statement years later and said both Molly and her dad yelled, and she never saw a physical fight.
She was influenced by the idea her family in Ireland could take her away. Both children mentioned they missed Jason and recalled fun and wonderful things they used to do together.
The state argued you could see evidence of coaching in the kids’ testimony. For example, Sarah spoke differently when she was speaking about something she was comfortable with like school versus laying out the chain of events of the day her dad died.
She told the interviewer at the Dragonfly House she “forgot her place” at one point and used the same phrases Molly used in interviews.
The state also argued Jack used words beyond the vocabulary of a young child and said repeatedly he wanted his parents to stop fighting and did not just mention his dad.
The defense argued the testimonies to DSS and the Dragonfly House were too similar to be coached, especially when the DSS interview was unplanned.
The judge stated he believed he could see aspects of coaching and truth in both of the children’s statements.