THE WIDOW and father-in-law of Irishman Jason Corbett will face trial over his sudden death in August of last year.
Molly Martens, 31, and her father Thomas Martens, 65, were named “persons of interest” after Mr Corbett’s death following a domestic dispute on August 2, 2015.
They have now both been charged by US police with second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.
Mr Corbett, 39, was found dead at the North Carolina home he shared with Ms Martens and his children from his first marriage Jack, 10, and Sarah, 8, in the early hours of August 2.
He reportedly suffered from head injuries – but the circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear.
Mr Corbett’s first wife Mags died in 2006, leaving the Limerick native to raise their two young children.
He later hired Ms Martens as a nanny in Limerick and after a couple of years a relationship developed between the two.
After getting engaged in Ireland, Mr Corbett and his children moved to Ms Martens’ native Davidson, in North Carolina, where they married.
In the weeks following Mr Corbett’s death, a bitter custody battle ensued for the two children.
Ms Martens sought formal custody of Jack and Sarah, who had been in her life since 2009, but Mr Corbett’s will explicitly states that in the event of his death, custody should go to his sister Tracey Lynch and her husband David.
The children travelled back to Limerick with their aunt and uncle after a judge ruled in their favour – and Ms Martens’ appeal against the decision was dismissed in December.
Assistant District Attorney at Davidson County confirmed to UTV Ireland that Ms Martens and her father have been asked to present themselves to the authorities.
He added that they are expected to appear in court to be charged with second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.
A trial is expected to take place later this year.