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'Oh, well, his first wife died at 3am' - Molly Martens questions death of Jason's first partner in US TV interview

Independent.ie logo Independent.ie 12/08/2017 Ralph Riegel
© ABC

CONVICTED killer Molly Martens Corbett (33) has dramatically claimed in a US TV interview that her Irish husband subjected her to years of verbal and physical abuse.

Ms Martens Corbett, who was convicted last week with her father, Thomas Martens (67) of the second degree murder of Jason Corbett (39), also tearfully said she feared she might die in circumstances similar to that of the Limerick man's first wife.

The father and daughter were handed minimum 20 year prison terms in North Carolina for bludgeoning Mr Corbett to death in the bedroom of his luxury Panther Creek Court home on August 2 2015.

Both claimed they beat the father of two with a baseball bat and a brick in self defence.

However, they were found to be totally uninjured at the scene - while Mr Corbett's skull was crushed from a minimum of 12 savage blows.

Forensic evidence at the scene cast doubt on the father and daughter's story of what happened.

A jury unanimously rejected their self defence argument and convicted them of second degree murder.

Now, in a pre-trial interview with US network ABC for their top-rated '20/20' show, Ms Martens Corbett said she always had concerns for herself over the circumstances in which Mr Corbett's first wife, Margaret 'Mags' Fitzpatrick, died in November 2006.

The Limerick woman, mother of Mr Corbett's two children, died from cardiac arrest due to an asthma attack.

However, both Ms Martens Corbett and her father have raised doubts over what happened to Mr Corbett's first wife.

"Sometimes he (Jason) would be angry and choking me would turn into something sexual," Ms Martens Corbett said.

"Or sometimes the other way around."

"Everything always felt so real and so scary in the moment when it was happening."

Ms Martens Corbett claimed she occasionally passed out during such incidents.

"It did always make me think of Mags his first wife and wonder if that is what happened to her?"

Both the father and daughter claimed they had heard whispers about the precise circumstances in which the 2006 death occurred.

"Yes, it definitely was - prior to that I heard that (questions over the circumstances in which Mags died.)"

"The first time, the second time, the third time, the twentieth time that you are suffocated or strangled or someone holds their hand over your mouth or a pillow on your face and you can't breath for an extended period of time, you think: 'Oh, well, his first wife died at 3am.' Maybe that is going to happen to me."

Mr Martens said Michael Fitzpatrick, Mags' father, told him he held Mr Corbett responsible for his daughter's death.

However, Mr Fitzpatrick, before his death, signed a sworn statement with a Limerick solicitor that he had never passed such a comment to Mr Martens.

Ms Martens Corbett said the abuse was ongoing in her marriage.

"The incident became more frequent but the apologies became less frequent and less extreme."

But she insisted she stayed in the marriage for the sake of the two children she adored.

"I couldn't imagine - sometimes I thought maybe I am being selfish. Maybe their lives would be better?"

"If they don't have to deal with it - but ultimately I always came to the same conclusion that it wouldn't be better for them to lose a second mother."

She repeatedly asked her Irish husband to sign legal papers giving her equal rights to the two children.

"I felt like he was actually going to follow through with the adoption papers," she said.

"I would feel more confident about securing my rights to the children."

But she said her husband was increasingly domineering.

"He was very controlling and very possessive."

"For the first few months you would just brush that off and go, well, he just loves me so much."

"But those kind of things just got worse."

"He was paranoid that I would develop some feelings for someone else."

"Or that somebody would look at me the wrong way."

"He was worried about a lot of things."

Mr Martens said he was concerned about what was happening in his daughter's marriage.

"He would tell her what she should wear, what she should shop for, when she should be home...he would text her repeatedly."

"There were just various forms of controlling behaviour. he would demand to see her phone, check her computer history - that sort of thing."

"I wasn't going to interfere in Molly's marriage - that was Molly's marriage."

However, when he visited the Corbett family home on August 1 with his wife, Sharon, and then interrupted an alleged incident where Mr Corbett had his hands on his daughter's throat, the retired FBI agent said he had no choice but to intervene.

"I feel righteous," he said about defending his daughter.

"When you get involved in a fight, you either lose or you win. It is what it is."

Ms Martens Corbett also wept as she told ABC how she had begged North Carolina social services not to take the two children from her care in the wake of her husband's death.

Ultimately, a judge ruled in favour of granting custody of the two children to Mr Corbett's older sister, Tracey and her husband, David Lynch.

The children returned to Ireland in 2015 and Ms Martens Corbett has not seen them since.

The Corbett family last week warned that they felt it imperative to protect the two children from any future contact with Ms Martens Corbett.

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