Calvin Phillips was found shot to death at his home in Pembroke, Kentucky, on or around November 18, 2015, and the bodies of his wife Pamela Phillips and their neighbor Edward Dansereau were found in Pamela’s burned car in a field a few miles away, authorities stated in a press release.
The investigation took several years and no arrests were made in the case until May 11, 2019, when Christian “Kit” Martin, a pilot for an American Airlines subsidiary, was arrested at the Louisville airport. The case was propelled to national attention as Martin was pulled off the plane and handcuffed while still in his pilot’s uniform. Martin was a next-door neighbor to Calvin and Pamela Phillips.
According to a report from Fox 17 Nashville in 2017, Martin was an Army Major who was accused of several crimes and Calvin Phillips was named as a potential witness for the prosecution. “Martin faced child rape charges, accusations he beat his step-son and charges he mishandled classified information. That information on CDs and laptops had been discovered by Calvin Phillips. He was Martin’s next door neighbor, who was murdered before he could testify against Martin,” the outlet wrote.
In that case, Martin was found guilty of two counts of mishandling of classified material and two counts of assault of a child but not guilty on both charges of rape of a child and communicating a threat. He received a three-month jail sentence and was discharged from the military, Fox 17 wrote.
Where is Christian ‘Kit’ Martin today?
Martin Was Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole in 2021 & Is Currently at the Roederer Correctional Complex
The jury found Martin guilty on June 16, 2021, for the triple homicide of Calvin and Pamela Phillips and Dansereau and for burning two of the bodies in a vehicle, The Messenger reported. The former decorated Army Major was found guilty of every offense he was charged with: three counts of murder, two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of first-degree arson, one count of criminal attempt to commit first-degree arson and three counts of tampering with physical evidence, public records show.
On September 2, 2021, Christian Circuit Judge John Atkins sentenced Martin to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The 53-year-old was admitted to the Kentucky Department of Corrections on September 2, 2021, and public records show he is currently housed at the Roederer Assessment and Classification Center, which is a correctional facility just north of Louisville, Kentucky.
The facility processes all male felons and determines their classification and has a total of 1238 beds, only 200 of which are for inmates permanently assigned to the center. Martin’s inmate record shows that his classification is still unassigned.
His Attorneys Indicated After His Conviction That They Would Be Appealing the Verdict
Martin has maintained his innocence and testified during his trial in 2021, telling the court it was “stupid” that he was even charged with the crime. “I didn’t do it and the evidence shows I didn’t do it,” he said, according to WSMV. “I didn’t do anything like that at all. Like I said, all the evidence shows I didn’t do anything with this. I’m not involved in this.”
Martin’s defense attorneys spoke before his sentencing and told the judge of their intent to appeal the verdict. According to The Messenger, defense attorney Tom Griffiths said, “Judge, like yourself, I’ve dedicated my life to attempting to seek justice through the jury system and we believe in this case that the jury did not get it right. I believe justice was not done.”
He added, “We did approach the court to ask the court to set aside that verdict and order a new trial. Your Honor has ruled against us in that matter. Now, we plan to go on to the Kentucky Supreme Court and it is our hope that we will prevail there.”