Son of Knoxville FBI man convicted of murder tells his side of the story

By  | 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The son and brother of a former Knoxville FBI agent and his daughter both convicted of murder this week said prosecutors in North Carolina left out key pieces of evidence during trial.

Local 8 News Anchor Lauren Davis talked to the family, who in an exclusive interview described what that evidence is, and what the family plans to do going forward.

Thomas Martens was an FBI agent for 30 years, a supervisor for 19, and worked at ORNL with a top secret clearance until his arrest in 2016.

Now, he and his daughter, international model Molly Martens Corbett, are behind bars.

"These two really outstanding people, all-American family, are innocent and now behind bars, and this can happen in America," said Michael Earnest, Thomas Martens' brother-in-law.

A North Carolina jury found both guilty of killing Molly's husband Jason Corbett, something Marten's son is finding hard to believe.

"It's hard to describe that level of shock," said Connor Martens, Thomas's son. "I was shaking uncontrollably and was tying to support mom, but it was hard."

Connor Martens and his uncle Michael Earnest called Local 8 News and wanted to tell their side of the story. They said Corbett was a victim of abuse at the hands of her husband Jason, but she never left because she loved the two kids who were from his previous marriage.

"My sister risked her life for years for those kids, but now everything was taken away, and my dad gave his life to the nation and risked his life to save my sister," said Connor.

The family said there were three pieces of crucial evidence left out of the trial: Molly Corbett's testimony that the brick paver was in the bedroom because of a craft project, the daughter's testimony of Jason's alleged abuse towards Molly, and Tom and Molly's taped police testimony at the police station after the murder.

"Somewhere early on, they thought, 'This is what happened,' and they went with that," said Michael Earnest.

Now, Connor plans on leaving Tennessee and starting a new life, but he said he will never forget the last words his sister said in the courtroom.

"I heard my sister say, 'So sorry, dad, I wish I would have just let him kill me,'" said Connor.

Connor told Local 8 News the family plans on filing an appeal in the case.

The Martens have set up a fundraising page to pay for the court costs.