Fiancee of commercial pilot charged in Kentucky triple homicide says he's '100 percent innocent'

Christian Martin was indicted in the slayings of his neighbors in Kentucky.

May 14, 2019, 5:45 PM

The fiancée of a commercial pilot charged in a cold-case triple murder in Kentucky is speaking out, saying he's "100 percent innocent."

As Christian R. "Kit" Martin, a former Army Ranger major and pilot for the American Airlines subsidiary PSA Airlines, sat in jail without bail awaiting arraignment on murder charges stemming from the 2015 killings of his neighbors Calvin and Pamela Phillips and Edward Dansereau, his fiancée came to his defense.

"He's an honest man," Laura Spencer said in an interview with ABC station WTVD-TV in Durham, North Carolina. "So his family and I believe he is 100 percent innocent."

Spencer said the allegations against the 51-year-old Martin are false.

PHOTO: This undated photo provided by the Christian County Detention Center shows Christian R. Martin.
This undated photo provided by the Christian County Detention Center shows Christian R. Martin.
Christian County Detention Center via AP

"Although I sympathize with the Phillips and Dansereau families ... Kit has given his life to public service and has sacrificed his self for his fellow man," Spencer told WTVD.

On Monday, Martin's daughter, McKenzie, also expressed support for her father, telling ABC News in a statement, "My dad is an American hero."

"He’s served his whole life and before this had a spotless record," Martin's daughter said in her statement. "We believe that he is innocent of these charges and hope that the truth will come out.”

But Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said that after an exhaustive investigation, the evidence points to Martin as the sole killer in the brutal homicides, in which the bodies of Pamela Phillips and Dansereau were found in a car that had been driven into a cornfield and set on fire.

Beshear said his office took over the investigation after Matt Phillips, the son of the murdered couple, met with him two years ago and voiced fears the case might never be solved.

He's an honest man. So his family and I believe he is 100 percent innocent.

On Saturday, Martin was arrested at the Muhammad Ali International Airport in Louisville, taken off an airplane full of passengers just as it was about to take off on a flight, authorities said.

His arrest came one day after a grand jury in Christian County, Kentucky, indicted him on three counts of murder, one count of arson, one count of attempted arson, two counts of burglary and three counts of tampering with physical evidence.

Martin is scheduled to be arraigned on May 22 at the Christian County Justice Center in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. If convicted, he could face the death penalty, prosecutors said.

"I’m devastated," Matt Phillips said in a statement to ABC News. "The world was robbed of a beautiful human being in my mother. I’ll fight for her, for my father, and Ed until the end of time because they would have for me."

Martin allegedly broke into the Phillips' home in Pembroke, Kentucky, on Nov. 18, 2015, and fatally shot Calvin Phillips with a .45 caliber pistol, according to an indictment unsealed on Monday. That same day, he allegedly shot and killed Pamela Phillips and Dansereau with a .22 caliber firearm, according to the indictment.

Martin allegedly put the bodies of Dansereau and Pamela Phillips in a car and drove into a cornfield several miles from their neighborhood and set the vehicle on fire with the victims' bodies inside, according to the indictment.

Investigators have yet to comment on a motive in the slayings.

In a 2016 interview with NBC affiliate station WSMV-TV in Louisville, Martin claimed Calvin Phillips was having an affair with his then-wife but denied any involvement in the murders.

Asked in the interview if he believed he would be charged in the killings, Martin told WSMV, "No, I have no worries about that."

In a statement to ABC News, American Airlines officials said Martin, who began working as a PSA pilot in January 2018, passed a routine criminal background check that found "no criminal history that would disqualify him from being a commercial pilot."

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