An ex-army major Apache pilot from Kentucky was sentenced Thursday to life without parole for the murders of a neighbor he believed slept with his bigamistic ex-wife and two others to court-martialize a child rape against him. in 2015.
Christian Martin, 53, who served in the United States Army and National Guard, was found guilty by a Christian County Circuit Court jury for the shooting of Edward Dansereau and Calvin and Pamela Phillips in Pembroke, Kentucky on Nov. 18, 2015.
Calvin, 59, was found dead in the basement of his home just two weeks before he was due to testify against Martin in a lawsuit in which the 30-year-old military veteran was charged with child rape and assaulting his stepson.
Martin, a former American Airlines pilot, seemed silent as Judge John Atkins read the verdict. Martin’s lawyers have sued that they would immediately appeal.
Christian County Circuit Court Judge John Atkins, right, sentenced Christian Martin, in orange, to life without parole Thursday for the murder of three in 2015
Christian Martin, who served in the U.S. Army and Coast Guard, was working as a pilot for an American Airlines subsidiary when he was arrested in 2019
Calvin Philips and Pamela Phillips, right, and Edward Dansereau were found shot to death in 2015 and their corpses burned in Pembroke, Kentucky. Calvin would testify against Martin just two weeks before he was killed. Martin believed Calvin was having an affair with his ex-wife
Martin also believed that Calvin was having an affair with his ex-wife, Joan Harmon, who was also married to another man while she was with Martin. WSMV reported.
Prosecutors said Martin failed to burn Calvin’s body in the basement, left the house and returned later in the day, where he ran into Pamela, 58, and Dansereau, 63.
Investigators said Pamela and Dansereau were shot for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
He then set the alarm at 1:10 a.m. the next morning, got up and drove the two bodies into Pamela’s car a few miles away, before setting the vehicle on fire, the investigators added.
The charred remains of Pamela and Dansereau were found hours later in a cornfield.
With Calvin no longer able to testify in court, Martin was only found guilty on two counts of misuse of classified material and two counts of sexual assault on a child, but he was found not guilty of both charges of rape of a child. a child and making a threat.
Following the case, Martin moved to North Carolina and began a career with American Airlines subsidiary PSA in 2018, after being discharged from the military and serving a 90-day prison sentence.
The horrific triple murders remained unsolved for more than three years until Martin was dramatically arrested at Louisville International Airport in May 2019 — just minutes before he was about to fly a plane.
Martin was convicted Wednesday of all charges in the triple murder trial in Hardin Circuit Court, including three counts of murder, one count of first-degree arson, one count of attempted arson, two counts of first-degree burglary and three counts of tampering with physical evidence.
At trial, Martin continued to protest his innocence throughout his trial and took the stand in June to label the charges against him as “stupid.”
Martin in an undated military photo. He was court-martialed for mishandling classified material and child assault, was discharged from the military and sentenced to 90 days in prison. He continued as a pilot for an American Airlines subsidiary
During the trail, Calvin denied all the allegations against him, saying the allegations he received were “stupid”
‘Dumb. I didn’t do it and the evidence shows I didn’t,” Martin said WMSV.
‘I didn’t do anything like that at all. Like I said, all the evidence shows I didn’t do anything about this. I’m not involved in this.’
His attorney Tom Griffiths argued that there was forensic evidence that the bullets that killed the victims did not come from the gun Martin owned.
He also noted that there were no eyewitnesses, no DNA, and no fingerprints.
The defense claimed evidence pointing to Martin could have been planted — possibly by his ex-wife who had access to his firearms.
Both the casing and dog tags were found by Calvin’s relatives several months after the murders.
Harmon and her son both invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid having to testify at trial.
Joan Harmon accused Christian Martin of abusing her son. Martin had discovered that Harmon was still married to another man when she married him
Martin in court in 2019. The murders took place just two weeks before Calvin was required to testify in a court case against Martin. The 30-year-old military veteran was charged with rape and abuse of children
In a 2016 interview with WSMV, Martin said he believed Harmon was having a long-term affair with Calvin.
“Everyone in town knew what was going on while I was working every day,” Martin said.
“They were together all day, and they weren’t really trying to hide it or anything like that.”
But he said he was grateful to his neighbor for helping him get out of his bigamistic marriage.
Martin and Harmon’s marriage was dissolved about three years prior to the murders, after he discovered that she had already married another man before they married.
Martin claimed his ex-wide warned him, “I’ll ruin your life” when they broke up.
Martin served in the Army Reserve from 1986 to 1990, on active duty from 1990 to 1993, then in the Army National Guard from 1993 to 2005.
He was back on active duty as of 2005, serving as Fort Campbell Major when he was discharged in 2016.
He was hired in January 2018 as Bombardier CRJ First Officer for American Airlines’ PSA Airlines.