Ex-FBI agent and daughter guilty of killing her husband

image sourceDavidson County
image captionThomas Martens and Molly Corbett delayed calling for an ambulance and pretended to carry out CPR, the trial heard

A former FBI agent and his daughter have been sentenced to 20-25 years in prison for bludgeoning her Irish husband to death.

Thomas Martens, 67, and Molly Corbett, 33, both claimed self-defence in the 2 August 2015 killing of Jason Corbett.

Mr Corbett, 39, died of blunt force trauma and was hit at least 10 times, according to the medical examiner.

A jury of nine women and three men unanimously found the two guilty of second-degree murder.

She first met Mr Corbett in 2008 after travelling to his native Ireland to work as an au pair for his two children after his first wife died in 2006 from an asthma attack.

The Limerick native wed the American in 2011 and moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Martens, who worked for the FBI for more than 30 years, had claimed he was defending his daughter after Mr Corbett choked her.

He told a 911 operator that night that he hit Mr Corbett "in the head with a baseball bat", and that he heard him say: "I'm going to kill her".

image sourceFacebook
image captionProsecutors said Molly Corbett (R) did not appear to have suffered any injuries to indicate she had been assaulted by Jason (L)

"He's bleeding all over and I may have killed him," Martens said during the call to emergency services.

The Davidson County jury was shown a metal baseball bat and a paving stone recovered at the scene, which prosecutors said were used to kill the Irishman.

Mr Corbett, a plant manager for a packaging firm, was beaten so badly that pieces of his skull fell off during a post-mortem examination, the trial heard.

The court also heard the father and daughter had delayed calling for an ambulance and pretended to carry out CPR after the attack in the master bedroom of the four-bedroom home.

Prosecutors said Molly Corbett did not appear to have suffered any injuries to indicate she had been assaulted.

But defence lawyers argued an investigator had failed to collect evidence that night showing otherwise.

Lawyers for Corbett said she had a mark on her neck, hair under her husband's fingernails and blood on his feet, suggesting a struggle.

Corbett declined to testify, but the judge allowed her to speak after the verdict.

"I did not murder my husband. My father did not murder my husband," she said before sobbing.

She added that he was an abusive spouse and that "the incidents occurred as they did on a somewhat regular basis, the difference is that my father was there".

"I'm really sorry to my mom, he should have just killed me," she said.

Corbett fought for and lost custody of her two step-children after her husband's death.

Guardianship was granted to Mr Corbett's sister, Tracy Lynch, who testified in court on the prosecution's behalf.

"Jason will be remembered for who he was, not for how he died," Ms Lynch said after Wednesday's verdict.