Airline pilot arrested at Louisville airport in connection to 2015 triple homicide, officials say

A pilot for an American Airlines subsidiary was arrested Saturday at the Louisville airport in connection to the 2015 killings of three people, Kentucky's attorney general said.

Christian R. Martin, 51, was taken into custody at the Louisville International Airport a day after he was indicted by a grand jury in the November 2015 murders of Calvin and Pamela Phillips of Pembroke and their neighbor, Edward Dansereau, according to Attorney General Andy Beshear.

"I hope this is a day that brings some justice to these families,” Beshear said in a statement. “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.”


Police said that Calvin Phillips was found shot to death in his Pembroke, Ky., home on Nov. 18, 2015. The bodies of Phillips’ wife, Pamela, and their neighbor, Edward Dansereau, were later discovered a few miles away in a cornfield inside her burned car.

Christian R. Martin. a pilot for an American Airlines subsidiary was arrested Saturday, in the 2015 shooting deaths of three people in Kentucky, the state attorney general announced.

Christian R. Martin. a pilot for an American Airlines subsidiary was arrested Saturday, in the 2015 shooting deaths of three people in Kentucky, the state attorney general announced. (Christian County, Kentucky, Detention Center)

Authorities did not give a motive for the killings or said what led them to believe Martin was responsible.

After the murders, officials said in a statement that Martin moved to Christian County, Ky., and was living in North Carolina at the time of the indictment.

Martin was arrested at the Louisville airport by authorities from the United States Marshall’s Service, Christian County Sheriff’s Office and Louisville Metro Police, according to Beshear's office.

Ashley Martin of Elizabethtown, Ky. -- who is not related to the suspect -- was at the airport with her mother, Frances Wise, when the pilot was taken into custody and described the situation as "very tense."

"It was like something you would totally see in a movie," Martin told WDRB-TV.


American Airlines said in a statement to Fox News that it is cooperating in the investigation, and that Martin has been a pilot for subsidiary PSA Airlines since January 2018. Martin's jail mugshot shows him wearing a pilot's uniform.

“All of us at American Airlines and PSA Airlines are deeply saddened to have learned about these allegations from 2015," an American Airlines spokesperson told Fox News. "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.”

Martin has been placed on administrative suspension, pending the outcome of the investigation.

The 51-year-old was being held without bond in the Christian County Detention Center on murder, arson and burglary charges along with tampering with physical evidence.


Beshear said he met nearly two years ago with the couple's son, Matt Phillips, who was worried the case had stalled. Beshear accepted a request from the local commonwealth attorney to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case.

Relatives of Calvin and Pamela Phillips had offered a $100,000 reward to help solve the case. Family members said Saturday they had an “overflowing of emotion, sincere relief, and absolute gratitude to all those who have worked diligently on this case.”

"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 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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.