• 54°

Bond set for father, daughter in Lexington murder case

LEXINGTON (AP) — A man and his daughter who were sentenced to prison in the 2015 death of an Irish businessman were released on bond Wednesday, weeks after the North Carolina Supreme court agreed that their convictions should be reversed.

Prosecutors have not said whether they intend to pursue a retrial against Thomas Martens and Molly Corbett.

The two were sentenced in August 2017 to 20 to 25 years in prison for the death of Molly Corbett’s husband, Jason Corbett, at their home in a golf course community in Davidson County. Investigators said they used an aluminum baseball bat and brick paver to kill Jason Corbett, fracturing his skull and causing injuries to his arm, legs and torso.

A 4-3 majority on the state’s Supreme Court sided on March 12 with an appeals court decision that reversed a jury’s second-degree murder convictions and said that Martens and Molly Corbett must get a new trial. The court agreed that evidence had been wrongly excluded that weakened their ability to argue they acted in self-defense.

Associate Justice Anita Earls, writing for the majority, pointed to omitted statements that the Corbetts’ two children had made during a medical evaluation soon after the death that indicated their father had been abusive in the home. Prosecutors alleged that the statements were not reliable and that both children later recanted. The trial judge excluded the statements from being entered into the trial.

To be released on bond, which was set at $200,000 apiece, Martens and Molly Corbett had to surrender their passports and they will not be allowed contact with any member of Jason Corbett’s family, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank told WGHP-TV that he does not discuss pretrial matters and will neither confirm or deny any plea offers. He added that a retrial is not off the table.

Comments

Business

With remote expansion, outsource provider FCR looks to become an ‘exceptional part’ of Rowan community

Local

City expects $1.5 million surplus in current budget, ability to raise some wages for police, public works

Education

Enochville Elementary to host farewell event May 1

High School

High school softball: Carson beats West in a wild one

College

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will speak at NC State graduation

High School

Wonders, Trojans facing off Monday on Cannon Ballers’ field

Local

City approves two apartment developments, more than 160 new units

Nation/World

Crowds react with joy, wariness to verdict in Floyd’s death

News

Bill seeks to end pistol purchase permits from NC sheriffs

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 300th death attributed to COVID-19

News

Chauvin convicted on all counts in George Floyd’s death

Local

Top North Carolina House finance chair, Rowan representative stripped of position

Crime

One charged, another hospitalized in fight between cousins

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Local

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star

Columnists

Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return

News

Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina

Nation/World

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped

Coronavirus

Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday