LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — An Irish businessman was beaten so badly that pieces of his skull fell onto a medical examiner's table during his autopsy, a North Carolina prosecutor said Tuesday during opening statements in the trial of two people charged in the man's death.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports Davidson County Assistant District Attorney Alan Martin described to the jury a bloody scene at a house in a golf-course community in the county.

"There was blood on this wall and there was blood on this wall," Martin said, pointing to various parts of the courtroom as if it were the master bedroom where Jason Corbett was found.

Authorities charged 33-year-old Molly Martens Corbett and 67-year-old Thomas Martens with second-degree murder in Jason Corbett's death on Aug. 2, 2015. They have pleaded guilty and are claiming self-defense and the defense of others.

Martin said Martens struck Jason Corbett with the baseball bat and Molly Corbett hit her husband with a brick paver.

David Freedman, one of Martens' attorneys, told the jury of a struggle in which Thomas Martens and Molly Corbett feared for their lives.

Freedman said Martens and his wife traveled to visit his daughter and grandchildren on Aug. 1, 2015. They spent time with Molly and Jason and then went to bed before hearing screams around 3 a.m.

"He knows upstairs is his daughter," Freedman said. "He knows upstairs is his grandchildren. He doesn't know what he's facing."

Freedman said Martens grabbed a baseball bat and ran up the stairs to Jason and Molly's bedroom, where he found Jason choking Molly.

Martens told Jason to stop, and Jason threatened to kill Molly, Freedman said, adding that Jason moved out of the bedroom and toward the bathroom., still choking his wife.

According to Freedman, Martens struck Jason until he let Molly go, and Jason was down in the bedroom.


Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com