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HomeNewsMolly Martens is released from prison in North Carolina

Molly Martens is released from prison in North Carolina

Molly Martens leaves the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh. Video: Keith Duggan

Molly Martens, who was jailed last year for the killing of Limerick man Jason Corbett on voluntary manslaughter, has been released from prison in the US state of North Carolina.

Her father, Thomas Martens, who also accepted the voluntary manslaughter plea deal was scheduled to be released at 3pm Irish time from Caldwell Correctional Centre, in Lenoir, about three hours driving distance from Raleigh.

Martens’ release, from the North Carolina Correctional Facility for Women, which is located on the fringes of Raleigh, was scheduled for 7.30am.

She exited the prison complex just before 8.40am through a plain door and made a short walk to a waiting car.

Wearing a striped blue and white dress, a beige waist belt and sandals, Martens smiled briefly as she left the holding room. Her dark hair was tied back.

An accompanying parole officer carried her belongings in a green hold-all and plastic bag.

Attending media members observed from behind a wire fence which cordoned off the inmate-release area from a nearby parking facility.

The parole officer fixed Martens’ seat-belt before she departed in an official North Carolina Department of Corrections car,  where parole officers took her to a post-release supervision office in Raleigh, where the terms of her parole would be explained to her.

Then, she was released to waiting family members and it was expected she would return to the family home in Tennessee.

Once there, Martens and her father would be expected to report to the post-release supervision officer in their locality.

While the NC Correctional Facility for Women could not specify the specific terms of the Martens’ supervision, typically former inmates will report at regular intervals and accede to periodic home searches.

If they do not violate their terms over a 12 month period, then the supervision ends.

The presence of American television crews and reporters attested to the extraordinary media attention and public interest in what was a shockingly violent assault in which Mr Corbett was killed by his wife and father-in-law.

The 39-year-old Irishman had moved to North Carolina in 2011 after his marriage to Molly Martens, who entered the lives of the Corbett family after applying for a job as a nanny to care for Mr Corbett’s young children, Sarah and Jack.

His first wife, Margaret ‘Mags’ Corbett, died tragically from a severe asthma attack in 2006.

Tom and Molly Martens were charged with second degree murder and the jury in the original trial returned a guilty verdict after deliberating for less than four hours.

However, that verdict was overturned after an appeal by the Martens’ solicitors was eventually upheld by the state supreme court on a 4:3 decision.

They accepted a plea-deal of voluntary manslaughter a week before the new trial was set to begin.

At the highly emotive sentence hearing that followed, the enduring grief suffered by Mr Corbett’s children was made plain through their testimony.

A statement released on Wednesday evening on behalf of members of the Corbett family condemned the “heinous actions of Tom and Molly Martens” who, it said, “not only took Jason’s life in a malevolent, cruel and vicious manner but also set about to tarnish his reputation and use his children in a self-serving attempt to evade accountability.”

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