Irishman beaten to death in United States had 'tried to kill wife'

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 5, 2017

Thomas Martens has testified he hit Jason Corbett until he thought the Limerick man couldn't kill him. Ms Corbett (33) and Mr Martens (67) have pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defence after Mr Corbett allegedly tried to strangle his wife.

Retired FBI agent Thomas Michael Martens wept in the stand as he said he repeatedly struck his Irish son-in-law with a metal baseball bat over the head.

Mr Martens said he was sleeping in the basement on August 2, 2015 when he heard thumping and screaming at about 3am and grabbed an aluminium bat and went upstairs to investigate. "Like a matter of urgency". When asked whether or not he told a co-worker that he "hated" Jason, Mr. Martens said he didn't remember that specific conversation, but would have probably made disparaging comments about Jason. "I said, 'Let her go, and he said I'm going to kill her.' I don't know how many times that happened, but several times".

David Freedman, representing Mr Martens, asked why he had grabbed the bat and if he called the emergency services.

Martens told the jury that he was "really scared" and that Mr. Corbett was "really angry".

Mr Martens said he jumped back up off the floor and rushed Mr Corbett. "I get a chance to hit him, only this time, he's ready for me". "Mr Corbett didn't waver", he said. Mr. Martens said he stayed close so that Mr. Corbett could not close the bathroom door and leave him outside of the room.

"Molly [escaped]. but now he has the bat and I'm still holding the bat". "I hit him until he couldn't kill me".

"We came back down the hallway, and we're back in the bedroom", Mr Martens said. I decide to rush him ...

"I get both hands on the bat, and now we're struggling over the bat".

He also declined to go on a joint family holiday to Washington because Mr Corbett was there.

The father-of-four acknowledged he had never seen or been told about any incident of domestic violence between Mr Corbett and his daughter.

Again, it didn't seem to have any effect, according to Mr Martens.

Mr Martens said he "foolishly" searched for his glasses once he realised he lost them in the struggle.

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