GREENSBORO, N.C. — The family of Jason Corbett has responded to the North Carolina Court of Appeals' decision to overturn the convictions of his alleged killers. In 2017, Jason Corbert's wife, Molly Corbett, and his father-in-law, Tom Martens, were convicted of beating Jason to death with a brick paver and baseball bat.
In their first statement since the Appellate Court's decision, Jason's sister, Tracey Corbett Lynch, and her husband, David Lynch, addressed the ruling. They spoke on the courts and the support their family has received from people around the world at their homes in Ireland.
"We had not expected this decision - we fully respect the courts in the US. However, we are disappointed," Tracey said in a statement.
"We want to thank the people in the U.S. and Ireland for your words of comfort, support, your kindness in comments, letters, emails and messages over the past week," she continued, "Our family also knows that the truth will not change. We all know what happened."
The defense for both defendants maintains Molly and Tom acted in self-defense in the 2015 incident. They say Jason was choking Molly during the night. That's when her father, a former FBI agent, went to help her. The February 4, 2020 ruling noted the evidence presented led the jury to determine Tom "aggressively and willingly entered into the fight with Jason without legal excuse or provocation."
Last week, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 split decision that errors made during the trial were "so prejudicial" that Molly Corbett and Tom Martens were unable to defend themselves meaningfully. The ruling goes on to say those errors warrant a new trial in the case. State prosecutors have a right to appeal the decision to the N.C. Supreme Court because the ruling was a split decision.
Back in 2017, Molly's uncle, who gave a witness testimony for Tom, told reporters as he was leaving court it was the most "atrocious miscarriage of justice" he's ever seen.
Last week, Davidson County DA Garry Frank said his office is still reviewing the Appellate Court's decision for the next steps.
"We will consult with the North Carolina Attorney General's office Appellate division. They will, with us, make the decision on whether to seek a review by the North Carolina Supreme Court. We will expect that will happen and they will handle the appeal just like they handled the appeal in this case'" said Frank.
They have until next month to make that request.
In this newest statement, Tracey says the family will pursue a retrial.
"We are now confident the North Carolina Supreme Court will uphold the convictions for second-degree murder on appeal. We will continue to support the Davidson County and North Carolina prosecutors who helped us get justice for Jason in 2017," the release said.
At this time, Molly and Tom remain in the custody of the State's Department of Corrections. The DA says the matter concerning whether they will be released from or kept in jail is still pending.
Stay connected to local, national and breaking news: Download the new WFMY News 2 app.
►Text the word APP to 336-379-5775
►For the latest weather conditions and forecast text the word WEATHER to 336-379-5775
►For traffic alerts text the word TRAFFIC to 336-379-5775