LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Two years after commercial airline pilot Christian “Kit” Martin was pulled from a jet at Louisville airport and charged with a gruesome triple murder in western Kentucky, a jury l ‘found guilty on Wednesday, according to the attorney general’s office.
Martin, 53, was convicted of the murders of three people in Christian County in a case that was tried during a change of venue in Hardin County.
The case gained national attention when Martin, a former army major who flew for American Airlines, was handcuffed to the airline’s door as he was about to take off on May 11, 2019 He was still wearing his pilot’s uniform when he was booked on three counts. of complicity in murder, arson and other charges.
The Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Office said Martin on November 18, 2015, shot dead three of his neighbors: Edward Dansereau and Calvin and Pamela Phillips, a married couple.
Background:Former airline pilot finally stands trial in gruesome Kentucky triple murder
Calvin Phillips was found dead in his Pembroke, Ky. Home on November 19, and the remains of Dansereau and Pamela Phillips were found in a burnt-out vehicle in a field.
Special prosecutors Barbara Whaley and Alex Garcia told the jury that Martin killed Calvin Phillips because he was about to testify at Martin’s military court martial on multiple counts.
The military court ultimately found Martin guilty of one count of mismanagement of classified information and one count of assaulting a child. He was sentenced to 90 days in prison and was released after 30 years of military service.
The lawsuit claimed that Dansereau and Phillips’ wife were collateral damage.
“The families and community of Pembroke have suffered profound loss,” Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in a statement Wednesday night. “While this verdict does not alleviate the pain, I hope they find some peace and comfort today.”
The sentencing phase of the trial will begin on Thursday.
Martin’s attorney, Deputy Public Counsel Tom Griffiths, did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the verdict.
He argued in an opening statement that the prosecution theory that his client wanted to silence a witness in his court martial made no sense because Phillips also had to testify for the defense in the military trial.
The jury heard conflicting accounts of the crime that went unsolved for years.
In an opening statement earlier this month, Whaley said Martin had the motive to kill Calvin Phillips because a court martial conviction could have ended his 30-year military career.
She also said prosecutors would show that a shell casing found five months after the crime was fired from a .45 caliber handgun found in a safe in Martin’s house across the way. from the street.
Whaley, an assistant attorney general, also told the jury that the victim’s family later found Martin’s nameplates on a shelf in their historic home.
But Griffiths noted that there were no eyewitnesses to the crime, no DNA, and no fingerprints. And he said he would present forensic evidence that the bullets that killed the victims were not from his client’s gun.
Griffiths suggested the overwhelming evidence – the shell casing and military ID that mysteriously escaped the police who searched the house – must have been planted there, possibly by the ex-wife in wrath of Martin, who had sworn to ruin him.
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