Who Is Christian Martin? New Details On The Army Major Turned Airline Pilot Arrested For Triple Murder

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Who Is Christian Martin? New Details On The Army Major Turned Airline Pilot Arrested For Triple Murder

Once, he was a Major in the Army. Now, he's under arrest for murder. Who is Christian Martin?

A commercial pilot was arrested in an airport in Kentucky on May 11, 2019. He went in expecting to report to work as usual but instead, he was taken into custody for the murders of three people in 2015. Christian “Kit” Martin was indicted for the murders of his neighbors Calvin and Pamela Phillips and Edward Dansereau in Pembroke, Kentucky in late 2015. Now, four years later, he is being charged with murder, arson, attempted arson, burglary and tampering with evidence. He is currently being held without bail. Who is Christian Martin and why is he suspected of a set of years-old murders? Keep reading for the latest details.

1. Troubled marriage

In 2015, Martin was a Major in the Army and was living in Kentucky with his wife Pamela Harmon and her children. Harmon was allegedly trying to leave the marriage, and would later say that he had been abusing her and her son, and enlisted the help of her neighbors to move out of the house. The Daily Beast reports that, in the course of moving, the Phillipses and Harmon discovered discs and laptops with files labeled “secret operation.” Realizing that these contained classified military information, the Phillipses turned the material over to the FBI, sparking a court-martial investigation and trial into Martin’s conduct. The material included classified military target data, including a "kill list." He also had photos that might have proved that he had abused his stepchildren. 

His current home is in North Carolina.

2. Court-martial

During the court-martial, accusations flew between the two spouses, including allegations that Harmon had already been married at the time that she married Martin. He also alleged that she had not told him the full details of her life before they met. He also accused Harmon of having an affair with Calvin Phillips, which she denied to the Daily Beast, saying “Pam and Cal were like family. They helped me escape an abusive man. They loved me and my children and we loved them.” 

Harmon, for her part, alleged that Martin had abused both her and her son physically and sexually. Her son Justin told a news outlet at the time: “I was the one he targeted the most. Beat me all the time. Smack me around, punch me, whatever.” Justin alleged that Calvin Phillips knew about the abuse, recalling that: “I was out mowing the lawn one day and I made the line a little too crooked, and he started smacking me around for it and told me I was doing it wrong. And then Cal came over and took me out of there.” Other witnesses at the trial alleged that Martin had sexually abused them as children when he was stationed in Germany in 2008.

Martin faces multiple felony counts.

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3. Murder of a witness

Calvin Phillips was scheduled to testify at Martin’s court-martial trial in 2016 but he never got the chance. He was found dead in his home, shot to death with a .45. His wife and Edward Dansereau were shot with a .22 then placed in her car, which was abandoned in a field before being set on fire. Martin was detained and investigated at the time of the killings but no charges were filed against him. His trial continued and he was found not guilty of the sexual assault charges. He was convicted of two counts of simple assault and two counts of mishandling classified information, according to the Leaf Chronicle. He went on to serve six months in a military prison before being released and discharged from the Army.

One victim was a potential witness against Martin.

4. Men's rights groups

According to the New York Times, Martin’s cause was taken up by so-called men's rights groups such as the National Coalition of Men, a group that claims to be a “nonprofit educational organization that raises awareness about the ways sex discrimination affects men and boys.” The Southern Poverty law Center takes a negative view of groups like this saying: “Their thinly veiled desire for the domination of women and their conviction that the current system oppresses men in favor of women are the unifying tenets of the male supremacist worldview.” In 2016, the NCM published an article, written by Martin where he claims to be the true victim in the case, saying "U.S. veteran men are now the new political prisoners of the world, the real expendables. After years of putting their lives on the line for their country, and sacrificing irreplaceable family time, their country is now railroading them into prison.”

The charges against him are capital offenses.

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5. Arrest

After Martin was released from a military prison in 2018, he moved to North Carolina and got a job as a pilot for a small airline owned by American Airlines. He somehow passed a background check that should have screened him for a criminal record. Meanwhile, the Phillips family never stopped trying to get answers about who killed Calvin and Pamela. Their son, Matt Phillips went to Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear and ask him to investigate further. “About two years ago, Matt Phillips came into my office,” Mr. Beshear said, according to the New York Times. “He talked about losing both of his parents in a brutal murder that also took the life of a third individual. He was worried that the case was stalled and was worried that justice would not come.” The investigation led to enough evidence that Martin was arrested this week and will be held without bond.

The details of the investigation remain vague.

While this case isn’t finished yet, the victims’ families issued a statement thanking officials for continuing to investigate, saying: “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. We are overwhelmed with this positive step towards resolution for people we love dearly.”

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.

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