Details emerge about murders that led to pilot’s arrest before takeoff

An airline pilot arrested in Kentucky could be in charged in court as early as today in a 2015 triple homicide. Christian Martin, a pilot for PSA Airlines (a subsidiary of American Airlines), was getting ready for a flight from Louisville to North Carolina Saturday when cops swept into Louisville International Airport and arrested him.

He was still in his pilot’s uniform when police snapped his booking photo. Martin faces nine charges, including three counts of murder and one count of arson, reports correspondent Kris Van Cleave.

Kentucky Slayings-Pilot Charged
A booking photo of Christian R. Martin. Christian County, Kentucky, Detention Center via AP

Martin allegedly killed Calvin and Pamela Phillips, and their neighbor, Edward Dansereau.

Calvin Phillips was found shot in his home in Pembrooke, Ky.; the bodies of his wife and Dansereau were discovered a few miles away, in a cornfield, inside her burned-out car.

“These were three individuals that are gone, that are never coming back, and that deserve justice,” Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said in November 2015.

In an interview with CNN, Matt Phillips said his father was killed before he could testify in a court-martial trial against Martin.

“He was shamefully kicked out of the military; my father had a lot to do with that,” Matt said.

Martin was reportedly a person of interest immediately following the killings. In a 2016 interview with a local TV station, he denied being involved in the murders. “I don’t know why anybody would want to do something to them,” he said.

Martin was hired as a first officer in 2018 for PSA, a regional carrier owned by American Airlines.

In a statement, American said, “Pilots undergo a criminal background check and recurrent vetting for any derogatory information,” adding Martin didn’t have “any criminal history that would disqualify him from being a commercial pilot.”

American Airlines said Martin has been placed on administrative suspension pending the outcome of the investigation and court proceedings, which includes the suspension of all travel privileges.

The Kentucky Attorney General has assigned a special prosecutor to try the case.

CBS News was unable to find an attorney representing Martin for comment.

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