Several motion hearings scheduled in Pembroke triple-homicide case

Photo by Avery Seeger | Kentucky New Era

Christian Martin, 51, waves to his parents as he enters the courtroom Wednesday morning. Martin is accused in the Pembroke triple homicide of Calvin Phillips, Pamela Phillips, and their neighbor, Edward Dansereau.

The man charged in the 2015 triple homicide in Pembroke appeared in court Wednesday morning with another new defense attorney.

Christian Martin’s new attorney Tom Griffiths stood next to Martin and made three motions on his behalf.

The first motion was to set an adversarial bond hearing to establish a bond for Martin. Currently, Martin is being held in the Christian County Jail with no bond.

According to the Department of Public Advocacy Trial Law Notebook, “The court must grant a motion for an adversarial bond hearing the first time a defendant requests one.”

Both Attorney General Special Prosecutors Jeffrey Prather and Barbara Whaley and Judge John Atkins agreed to schedule a bond hearing for Martin. Martin’s bond hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 16.

Following that motion, Prather made a motion to also schedule a hearing to submit DNA testing on hair the commonwealth obtained as evidence in the case.

Prather explained that they wanted to schedule the hearing and give the defense time to hire a DNA testing expert of their own prior to trial.

Atkins scheduled the DNA hearing on the same day as the bond hearing.

Prather also explained to the court and the defense that the attorney general’s office plans to provide more evidence they have obtained to the defense. During the court appearance Wednesday, Prather handed over some of the evidence but informed the defense that more would on its way.

Atkins and Griffiths then met in private to hear two ex parte motions filed by Griffiths. Ex parte motions are motions made by one of the parties in court that is urgent and does not have to be presented to the other party.

According to uslegal.com, an ex parte motion is “an exception to the usual rule of court procedure and due process rights that both parties must be present at any argument before a judge.”

Ex parte motions are also motions that are not heard by the public and does not have to be disclosed to the opposing party. In this case, the commonwealth was not informed what the motions were by Martin’s attorney.

Martin was arraigned on his charges May 22 and entered a not guilty plea.

Martin was indicted May 10, on three counts of murder; one count of arson; one count of attempted arson, burglary in the first degree; and three counts of tampering with physical evidence, according to Martin's indictment.

Martin was arrested the morning of May 11, at the Louisville International Airport, with help from the United States Marshals Service, Christian County Sheriff's Office and Louisville Metro Police.

The case was investigated by the Kentucky State Police and the Christian County Sheriff's Office.

The indictment stems from events that occurred on or about Nov. 18, 2015, in which Calvin Phillips was found shot to death in his home in Pembroke. The bodies of his wife, Pamela Phillips, and their neighbor, Edward Dansereau, were found a few miles away in a corn field in a burned up car owned by Mrs. Phillips.

According to court documents, Martin allegedly shot and killed Calvin Phillips with a .45 caliber pistol and shot Pamela Phillips and Dansereau with a .22 caliber firearm.

The documents also added that he allegedly set fire to Mrs. Phillips' car while she and Dansereau were inside and attempted to set fire to the Phillips' home with Mr. Phillips' body inside.

The indictment states that Martin is a former military officer, and Calvin Phillips was set to testify against Martin in a military court martial at the time of the murder.

Martin is set to appear at 11 a.m. Oct. 16 for both hearings.

Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or aseeger@kentuckynewera.com. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra

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