Pilot Arrested at Airport for Alleged Triple Homicide
Christian Richard Martin, a pilot for PSA Airlines, which is owned by American Airlines, was arrested at Louisville International Airport just before a flight to Charlotte, North Carolina he was scheduled to fly, according to CBS News.
Martin has been accused of the murder of Calvin Phillips, his wife Pamela Phillips, and their neighbor Edward Dansereau in November 2015, said Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear. Calvin Phillips was found shot to death in his home in Pembroke, Kentucky, while Pamela Phillips and Edward Dansereau were found in a burnt-out car a few miles away, CNN reported.
A grand jury has indicted Martin on three counts of murder, one count of arson and attempted arson, plus several counts of burglary and evidence tampering, according to CNN.
It’s unclear as to what Martin’s motive could have been or how the police came to suspect him, but it’s apparent that this is not his first problem with the law. According to CNN, after serving in the Army Reserve, Army National Guard, and active duty over 30 years, Martin was given a dismissal notice (which is the same as a dishonorable discharge) in August 2016 for two counts of mishandling classified information and of assault on a child under the age of 16, CNN reported. Phillips was apparently scheduled to testify against Martin during the hearings when he and his wife were killed.
Questions are now being raised as to how Martin was able to obtain a job as a pilot for an American Airline's subsidiary. Martin joined PSA Airlines in early 2018 and apparently passed criminal background checks for new employees. It’s possible that certain checks may not have red-flagged his past military charges, according to CBS News.
“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,” American Airlines said in a statement. “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.”
In a statment released from the attorney general's office, the family said, “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.”
Martin’s first court date is scheduled on May 22 and will not be able to fly with the airline in any capacity pending the investigation outcome.