An ex-FBI agent made a dramatic 911 call after allegedly bludgeoning his daughter’s husband to death confessing: ‘I may have killed him.’
Former fed Thomas Martens called emergency services saying he had hit son-in-law Jason Corbett with a baseball bat.
Corbett, 39, died at his home last August and his widow Molly and father-in-law Thomas are on bail accused of his murder.
Police believe the victim and his wife were in the verge of divorce and the acrimony led to the night of violence which cost the father-of-two his life.
He had previously been widowed in 2006 when the children’s mother Margret died after an asthma attack.
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Tension: Jason Corbett allegedly told his wife Molly Martens that he would return to Ireland ‘with or without her’ shortly before his murder. She and her father are accused of the killing in Winston-Salem, NC, in August
Murder scene: This was the Corbett family home in Winston-Salem where Jason Corbett was allegedly murdered by his former model wife and FBI agent father-in-law
Ready to go: Toys and other items at the house were being packed in readiness to be sent to Ireland where the two children are now living with their aunt and uncle, in accordance with Jason Corbett’s will but against the wishes of his second wife, who is still pursuing a legal attempt to gain custody of them
911 CALL: ‘WE NEED HELP’
MARTENS: We need help. My son in-law got into a fight with my daughter and I intervened. He is in bad shape. We need help. He’s bleeding all over and I may have killed him.
OPERATOR: Was he drinking?
MARTENS: Yes, he had been drinking during the course of the day. I hit him in the head with a base ball bat…he was choking my daughter and said ‘I’m going to kill her’.
OPERATOR: Is he conscious at all?
OPERATOR: Is he breathing?
MARTENS: I can’t tell.
The operator asks him to roll the victim onto his back.
MARTENS: He is a heavy man and I cant do it…my daughter is in terrible shape.
OPERATOR: Somebody needs to get him on the back. We need to know if he is breathing.
MARTENS: I’m trying lady!
Corbett had hired his second wife as an au pair and she flew to Limerick in Ireland to become the nanny.
In 2008 they began a relationship which led them to marrying in Tennessee in June 2011.
But the marriage was riven with divisions and bitterness and the murder accused had consulted divorce lawyers and wanted custody of her step children.
Detectives believe Jason was looking to return to Ireland and leave his wife behind, before he met his death at their detached home.
On 2 August officers were called to the house and found a bloodbath.
Martens HAD called emergency services and told the operator: ‘My son in-law got into a fight with my daughter and I intervened. He’s bleeding all over and I may have killed him.’
Martens, a former FBI officer, told the operator he knows about CPR adding: ‘I am somewhat familiar with this.’
He is asked to pump the chest of the victim while his daughter gives the mouth-to-mouth to her dying husband.
The operator was on the line for 13 minutes and 50 seconds. The call was made at 3.02.17am on August 2nd.
Police believe Jason was murdered by his wife and father-in-law after telling her he was about to quit the US ‘with or without her’, detectives believe.
Jason, an Irish citizen, was apparently a few days from quitting his North Carolina home amid increasing tension with his second wife, a former au-pair.
Officers have prepared a case that shows a lengthy spell of bitterness between the couple and that he that he was looking for a new employment in Ireland or England, taking his two children with him, Daily Mail Online has learned
Prosecutors will present evidence of the acrimony and tension that built up over talk of divorce, as a reason for his murder.
Police have discovered that Corbett, 39, had been applying for work in England and Ireland and the day before his death, had been on the internet looking at plane tickets for himself, his son and his daughter.
He had warned his wife Molly Martens, 31, that he was leaving ‘with or without’ her to return to Ireland and would quit his job with a pharmaceutical packaging firm in Lexington, NC.
Martens and her father – a former FBI agent and counter-intelligence officer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory – were charged this week with his murder on 2 August last year.
Corbett’s father-in-law Martens, 65, telephoned 911 at around 3.05 am that morning saying he had hit the younger man with a baseball bat.
Martens’ wife Sharon and Corbett’s two young children were also in the house at Panther Creek Court, Winston Salem, at the time.
The couple’s marriage is at the center of the case. Corbett had refused to allow Martens to formally adopt his children, which would have opened the way to them becoming US citizens.
Prosecutors, led by District Attorney Garry Frank, will present evidence that the marriage was all but over and the victim was making clear plans to move back to either Ireland or England.
Sources said he and his wife had argued furiously over his wishes to take his children back to Ireland and that she was determined to cling on to them.
The couple had discussed splitting after Jason, who moved to the US with his former au pair and his two children by his late wife in 2011, repeatedly said he was homesick.
Molly had told a family friend Lynn Shanahan in the summer of 2013 that she had spoken with lawyers to gain legal custody of her step-children if a divorce went through.
Molly moved in 2008 from the US to Limerick in western Ireland to work as an au pair for Corbett. His first wife, Margaret, died in 2006 of an asthma attack 12 week after the birth of their second child and Molly was the fourth au pair.
Charged: Molly Martens has tried to gain custody of the two children, one of whom she is seen with, despite being charged with murdering their father
Facebook plea: Molly Martens has used social media to highlight her case for gaining custody of her stepchildren, which would mean them returning to the US from Ireland where they are now living
Backing her family: Sharon Martens is standing by her husband Tom (right) and her daughter Molly
Back home: Tom and Sharon Martens were both seen leaving their Knoxville, TN, home today with the family’s pets
At some point in the next three years they became a couple, and in 2011 they moved to the United States.
In June of that year they married in her native Tennessee, with the two children taking part in the ceremony. The children were already calling her ‘mommy’.
She had tried to persuade Jason to allow her to legally adopt the children, but he had refused – in what
Despite the murder and manslaughter charges levied against her, Molly, who has been released with her father on $200,000 bail, is continuing her battle to win custody of the children.
Jason had specified in his will that his sister should be granted custody of the children.
Molly has lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court in Raleigh to force the children, aged 11 and 9, to be returned to the US where they live with their aunt Tracey Lynch – Jason’s sister – and her husband David.
They traveled to the US from Ireland to be in court this week.
The couple hugged and consoled each other yesterday as they visited the former family home in Winston-Salem with police and court officials as they checked piles of toys which are to be shipped back to Ireland for the children.
David told Daily Mail Online the children were settled in Ireland and doing well.
Meanwhile Molly was warned to drop her continuing battle over the children which she has asked her lawyers to take to the Supreme Court in Raleigh after failing to win custody.
One senior court official who has been involved in the custody hearings that have taken place, said Molly had ‘not a hope in hell’s chance’ of getting custody of them back to the US.
Tracey had told the court during the initial custody hearings that Molly was capable of ‘volatile behavior and explosive anger’ towards the children.
She claimed on one occasion the alleged murderer held the boy’s head in a sink allowing water to funnel into his mouth after he had splashed her during a family outing.
The claims are fiercely contested by the Martens family. Molly and Tom Martens are now back together in Knoxville, Tennessee.
He retired from his job at the Oak Ridge Laboratory after being placed on administrative leave in August in the wake of the alleged murder.
Poignant journey: David and Angela Lynch, who have custody of the children in Ireland, went to collect their toys this week after seeing Molly and Tom Martens appear in court.
Court involvement: Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank (left) is leading the prosecution. Brian L. Shipwash, Clerk Of Superior Court, Davidson County NC, oversaw the custody case and says: Brian ‘This scenario is very tragic for all involved.’
Michael Earnest, Mr Martens’ brother-in-law, told Daily Mail Online: ‘This was all about self-defense and once the case is put before a jury, they will be exonerated.
‘They are good people and they were trying to protect themselves. They are innocent of the charges.’
Asked about the continuing custody battle, he said: ‘She will fight for custody of the children. She was a mother to them and it was very difficult when they were taken from her in tears and screaming that they wanted to stay with their mommy.’
The murder suspect has continued her campaign to win back the children with an online Facebook campaign.
She posted photographs of them in happier days and wrote: ‘I have loved, nurtured and protected you to the best of my ability in the environment we found ourselves.
‘I do not know what you will remember about our lives but I know some of the things you are being told.
‘I pray one day you are able to remember with truth and clarity some of the events of our lives.
‘You are my heart and soul, my sunshine and my happy, and I will always love you.’
Brian Shipwash,Clerk of Davidson County Superior Court, told Daily Mail Online: ‘This scenario is very tragic for all involved especially Jack and Sarah.
‘I only pray they are transitioning well in their homeland of Ireland.’
911 CALL DOCUMENTS WHICH REVEAL HOW NIGHT UNFOLDED