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A North Carolina woman and her dad enter pleas in the beating death of her Irish husband

LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — The wife of an Irish businessman and her father entered pleas to voluntary manslaughter Monday in her husband’s beating death at their North Carolina home.

Molly Corbett pleaded no contest and Thomas Martens pleaded guilty to the charge, news outlets reported.

Corbett’s husband, Jason Corbett, died at their home in a golf course community in Davidson County in 2015. Investigators said Molly Corbett and Martens, who was a former FBI agent, used an aluminum baseball bat and brick paver to kill Jason Corbett, fracturing his skull and causing injuries to his arm, legs and torso.

Defense attorneys have said the two were acting in self-defense and that they feared for their lives during a struggle with the husband.

In 2021, the North Carolina Supreme Court reversed their convictions on second-degree murder and ordered a new trial. Each had been sentenced in 2017 from 20 to 25 years.

The high court 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 the statements were not reliable and that both children later recanted. The trial judge excluded the statements from being entered into the trial.

Jason Corbett, a native of Ireland, met Molly Corbett in 2008 when she worked as an au pair for two children from his first marriage. His first wife had died of an asthma attack in 2006.