Thomas Martens, who pleaded guilty last week to the voluntary manslaughter of Limerick man Jason Corbett, will be released from prison next summer, his lawyer predicts.
Mr. Martens and his daughter Molly Martens were sentenced Wednesday to 51 to 74 months in prison for killing Mr. Corbett in August 2015 at his home near Winston Salem, North Carolina.
However, the judge said they would receive credit for the 44 months they served in prison following their 2017 second-degree murder conviction, which was later overturned by an appeals court.
Ms. Martens had not contested the charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with her husband’s death.
Meanwhile, the Corbett family said Wednesday evening that while they may not be happy with the conviction, they want to recognize the hard work and dedication of local police and the district attorney in Davidson County, North Carolina.
Jay Vannoy, Mr. Martens’ lawyer, predicted after Wednesday night’s sentencing that his client would be released from prison in seven months, given the time already served.
Mr Vannoy described the 51-month sentence as “just”.
He said Mr Martens understood and accepted the sentence.
When asked about his client’s reaction to being sent back to prison, he said Mr Martens replied: “Take care of my family.”
Mr Vannoy said it had been difficult for Ms Martens to listen to a powerful and emotional victim impact statement given in court by Jack and Sarah Corbett, the children of Mr Corbett and his first wife Margaret Corbett, who died in 2006 had.
He said Ms Corbett had done her best to raise the children and had found it difficult to listen to Jack Corbett claiming she had hurt him. Mr. Vannoy said he didn’t think so.
Jack Corbett had claimed in his court statement: “From the age of four to ten, I was taught by Molly Martens how to lie and manipulate people.” During that time, I was abused in every way and more by Molly Martens. “
He urged the judge not to be fooled by “this Molly Martens mask of politeness.”
“There is a monster lurking beneath the facade. She systematically beat me down and fed me falsehoods.
“Molly Martens needs to be locked away for as long as possible so she can’t do this to another family or child. It is my biggest fear and gives me nightmares. She will do it again if she finds the opportunity,” Jack Corbett said in his statement.
Sarah Corbett said in her statement: “Molly Martens tried to destroy me and my family. She turned me and my brother against each other, being nice to one of us one day and terrible the next, making us compete for her love.
“When I was five years old, Molly Martens started playing her mind games. What kind of mother tells a five-year-old girl that her father killed her birth mother?”
She said Ms Martens beat her brother Jack and used hunger as a weapon to punish her.
“I often had to pull Molly away from Jack because she hit him so badly. At one point she hit him so hard that I jumped on her back and used all my body weight to pull her away from him, but she grabbed me, threw me to the ground and started screaming at both of us.
“Her form of punishment was starvation – she simply wouldn’t feed us when we did something wrong, like not swimming fast enough in our heat. She would stop talking to us or resort to violence.”
On Wednesday, the Corbett family said: “Even though this is not a moment for us to celebrate, we can still find a way to move forward with our lives. “Jack and Sarah finally had the opportunity to communicate freely and without obstacles.”