A pilot has been arrested and indicted in connection with the 2015 murders of three people in Christian County, the Kentucky attorney general’s office announced Saturday.
Christian Richard Martin, 51, was taken into custody early Saturday at the Louisville International Airport and is charged with three counts of murder, as well as first-degree arson, attempted arson, first-degree burglary and tampering with physical evidence. The Associated Press reported that Martin is an American Airlines pilot, and the company is cooperating in the investigation.
Martin worked for American Airlines subsidiary PSA Airlines since January 2018, the Associated Press reported.
Martin is charged in connection with the deaths of Calvin and Pamela Phillips and Edward Dansereau, whose bodies were found Nov. 18, 2015, in Pembroke. Calvin Phillips had been shot in his home, while the bodies of Pamela Phillips and Dansereau were found in her burned up car in a cornfield a few miles away.
Martin, who reportedly was a neighbor of the victims, had moved from Christian County to North Carolina after the murders, the attorney general’s office said.
Martin was being held without bond in the Christian County Jail on Saturday.
He was indicted Friday, but the indictment was kept under seal until his arrest.
The attorney general’s office said the Phillips’ son Matt had met with Attorney General Andy Beshear two years ago, “worried that the case had stalled and that justice would not come.” Afterward, a special prosecutor from the attorney general’s office was appointed to handle the case.
This is not the first time Martin, who also goes by the first name “Kit,” has been in legal trouble. And Calvin Phillips apparently was connected to that case.
Martin, a former Army major, was court-martialed and found not guilty in May 2016 of physical and sexual abuse of children, the Leaf Chronicle reported.
But he was found guilty of some lesser charges of simple assault and mishandling classified information.
WSMV in Nashville reported that Calvin Phillips and Martin’s former wife, Joan Harmon, had turned over to the FBI some military discs labeled “secret.” Those discs reportedly contained classified material and were the source of the court marshal for mishandling classified information.
Martin said in a 2016 interview with WSMV that Phillips had been scheduled to testify in his case.
In the interview, Martin denied any knowledge of the murders, saying “I don’t know why anybody would want to do something to them.”
The families of the Phillipses and Dansereau said in a statement issued by the attorney general’s office that they were “overwhelmed with this positive step towards resolution for people we love dearly.”
“Nov. 18, 2015, Cal Phillips, Pam Phillips and Ed Dansereau were brutally extinguished – beyond recognition from family. Every day, we are haunted by what was done to them and haunted further that someone was still free to do as they wish, beyond the civility of mankind or laws of our nation,” the family members of the victims said in a statement. “...We look forward to justice in court, and we look forward to a verdict to bring an end to this terror, and a fresh start at healing.”