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An airline pilot was arrested Saturday morning right before takeoff in connection with a triple homicide.
Christian Richard Martin was indicted Friday on three counts of murder for the 2015 deaths of Calvin and Pamela Phillips, and Edward Dansereau in Pembroke, Kentucky, WBKO in Bowling Green, Kentucky reports. He was arrested at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. He was cuffed on an airplane full of passengers who thought they were about to be up in the air soon, ABC News reports. The U.S. Marshals and local police helped arrest him.
Martin, who works for an American Airlines subsidiary, was also indicted for one count of arson; one for attempted arson; burglary in the first degree; and three counts of tampering with physical evidence in connection with the 2015 incident, according to online jail records.
"It was like something you would totally see in a movie," passenger Ashley Martin of Elizabethtown told WDRB in Louisville. She and her mother were about to board American Airlines Flight 5523 from Louisville to Charlotte when the pilot was taken into custody.
Martin was still wearing his pilot’s uniform in his mugshot. A spokeswoman for American Airlines told the Louisville Courier Journal that he worked as a pilot for PSA Airlines since early 2018.
In 2015, Calvin Phillips was found shot to death inside his Pembroke home while the bodies of his wife, Pamela, and their neighbor, Edward Dansereau “were found a few miles away in a corn field in a burned up car owned by Mrs. Phillips,” according to Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear's office.
“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 victims’ family said in a statement.
Beshear said the Phillips' son had recently talked to him about a perceived lack of developments in the case.
"He was worried that the case was stalled and was worried that justice would not come," Beshear said in a video statement. "We hope this is one example of when you never stop seeking justice, when you never give up on a case that we can truly get important results for our families."
Martin was a neighbor of the victims. He and Calvin Phillips were also connected through a 2016 court martial case, the Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville, Tennessee, reported. Martin, an Army major at the time, was acquitted of sexual assault but found guilty of mishandling classified information.
Calvin Phillips was scheduled to testify in that case but died before he had the chance.
"He was my star witness," Martin claimed in a 2016 MSNV interview.
Martin is being held without bond. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.
Lanesha Gipson, a spokeswoman for American Airlines told the Louisville Courier Journal that Martin was placed on administrative suspension pending the outcome of this investigation.
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