Pilot Arrested While in Uniform on Plane, Charged With 3 Murders From 2015

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A pilot was arrested and charged Saturday in the murders of a Kentucky couple, as well as a neighbor. 

Christian Richard Martin, 51, who works for a subsidiary of American Airlines, was detained as he prepared for takeoff, a moment described by a passenger as something like out of a movie. 

According to the passenger, they were boarding the early-morning flight from Louisville to Charlotte, North Carolina, when police officers escorted their uniformed pilot off the plane in handcuffs. A short while later, they were told the flight had been canceled. 

Martin, a former Army Ranger major, is accused of killing Calvin Phillips; his wife, Pamela Phillips; and Edward Dansereau in 2015. Pamela and Dansereau were found dead inside a burned-out car several miles away from where Calvin's body was discovered at his home in Pembroke, Kentucky.

Calvin had been scheduled to testify against Martin in a military court martial when he was killed. Martin was found guilty of assaulting his wife at his court martial but was acquitted of the more serious charge of sexual assault. He joined the American subsidiary PSA Airlines last year. 

Inside Edition spoke to Matt Phillips about his parents' deaths. "My folks were wonderful, wonderful people and I miss them terribly," said Matt. "This is devastating to a family."

"Pilots undergo a criminal background check and recurrent vetting," an American Airlines statement read. "Martin did not have any criminal history that would disqualify him from being a commercial pilot."

Martin is suspended pending the investigation. 

In an interview in 2016, Martin, who'd been a suspect in the crimes from the start, denied any knowledge of the murders. "I don't know why anybody would want to do something to them," said Martin. 

For his part, Matt is eagerly anticipating seeing Martin at trial.

"I'm very much looking forward to seeing this trial convey exactly who he is and have him defend his actions," said Matt. "I don't think it's going to go well for him."


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