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American Airlines pilot arrested at airport for triple murder

May 14, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

An American Airlines pilot has been arrested at an airport before takeoff and charged over a grisly triple murder, according to reports from the US.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced in a statement that Christian Richard Martin was arrested at Louisville International Airport.

A statement from Beshear’s office said Martin was arrested early Saturday morning “with help from the United States Marshall’s Service, Christian County Sheriff’s Office and Louisville Metro Police”.

Passengers in the airport during Martin’s arrest described a tense scene with a heavy police presence. The arrested pilot was marched away in handcuffs from an airport gate, “apparently just before he was set to be the first officer on Flight 5523 from Louisville to Charlotte”, according to an account in online weekly US magazine

The Kentucky Attorney General’s statement said that on 10 May 2019, a Christian County grand jury indicted Martin for the 2015 murders of Calvin and Pamela Phillips and Edward Dansereau.

The Attorney General’s statement continued:

“Martin was indicted yesterday on three counts of murder; one count of arson; one count of attempted arson, burglary in the first degree; and three counts of tampering with physical evidence. The indictment was sealed until Martin was taken into custody.

“The indictment stems from events that occurred on or about November 18, 2015, in which Calvin Phillips was found shot to death in his home located in Pembroke, Kentucky. The bodies of Mr. Phillips’ 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.

“Family members expressed an “overflowing of emotion, sincere relief, and absolute gratitude to all those who have worked diligently on this case.”

“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 are overwhelmed with this positive step towards resolution for people we love dearly; Cal and Pam Phillips and Ed Dansereau, and the hundreds of friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and others deeply affected by their brutal end. 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.”

Christian Richard Martin

American Airlines issued the following statement on the incident:

“All of us at American Airlines and PSA Airlines are deeply saddened to have learned about these allegations from 2015. Our team was made aware of the indictment this morning after his arrest at Louisville International Airport. We have an unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our customers and team members, and we will provide any investigative assistance possible to law enforcement throughout their investigation.”

The Attorney General’s statement continued as follows:

Attorney General Andy Beshear said he met with the family’s son, Matt, nearly two years ago when Matt was worried that the case had stalled and that justice would not come. Based on that meeting, Beshear accepted a request from the local commonwealth’s attorney to appoint a special prosecutor from the AG’s office to handle the case. After two years of hard work, Beshear announced the indictment.

 “I hope this is a day that brings some justice to these families,” said Beshear. “There are many steps from here, but we hope this is one example of when you never stop seeking justice, when you never give up, that we can truly get important results for these families.”

After the murders, Mr. Martin moved from Christian County, Kentucky, and was living in North Carolina at the time of the indictment.

 This case was investigated cooperatively by the Kentucky State Police and the Christian County Sheriff’s Office.

 The defendant will be returned to Christian County, Kentucky to await trial. Christian Circuit Court Judge John Adkins has ordered the defendant held without bond.

 The case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Andy Beshear’s Special Prosecutions Unit.

Kentucky retains the death penalty for murder, though no-one has been executed in the state for that crime since 1997.

Edited by Peter Needham

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