Just before takeoff, American Airlines pilot is arrested for years-old triple murder

One of the victims was reportedly set to testify against suspect Christain Martin in a court-martial trial

A North Carolina-based commercial pilot was arrested Saturday before takeoff from an airport in Kentucky, accused of killing three of his neighbors in 2015.

The Louisville Courier Journal reported that authorities from multiple state and federal agencies arrested Christian Richard Martin, 51, at the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. His arrest reportedly came a day after he was indicted for the murders of Calvin and Pamela Phillips and their neighbor, Edward Dansereau.

Calvin Phillips was reportedly found shot to death at his Pembroke home on November 18, 2015. Pamela Phillips and Dansereau were found dead in Pamela’s burned car, which was parked a few miles away in a cornfield, according to the news outlet.

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WTVD reported that Martin moved to North Carolina after the triple homicide.

According to WSMV, Martin was being prosecuted for physical and sexual abuse and for allegedly disseminating classified materials at the time of the murders.

Calvin’s son, Matt, told CNN that his father was set to testify against Martin, a former Army ranger major, in a court-martial trial before he was murdered.

“I will say that Martin was dishonorably discharged,” he alleged. “He’s in my view not a military veteran. He was shamefully kicked out of the military. My father had a lot to do with that. And I think we should all be thankful for that, frankly.”

The Leaf-Chronicle reported in 2016 that Martin was ultimately acquitted of rape of a child and other physical and sexual abuse counts but was convicted of mishandling classified information and simple assault.

During the trial, three witnesses, ages 12, 15 and 19, testified that Martin physically and sexually abused them dating in 2008. Prosecutors also presented dozens of photos of bruises and whip marks which they said Martin inflicted on his victims, according to the outlet.

The ex-Army Ranger was also accused of downloading sensitive, classified information—including a kill list—to his personal laptop while he was stationed in the Middle East.

Despite this, Martin’s former lawyer, Tucker, claimed he hired a private attorney who found that Calvin would be a star witness for the defense.

“If there is a poster child for ‘life is not fair,’ it would be a picture of Kit Martin,” Richardson told CNN. “They took a fine man and drug him through the mud.”

According to reports, passengers were waiting to board the Charlotte-bound flight Saturday when Martin was arrested. The pilot was booked into Christian County Detention Center, where he remains jailed without bond.

“All of us at American Airlines and PSA Airlines are deeply saddened to have learned about these allegations from 2015,” an American Airlines spokesperson told the Courier Journal. “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.”

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[Featured image: Christian Marin/Christian County Detention Center]