The man charged in the 2015 triple homicide in Pembroke, Christian Martin, was arraigned Wednesday morning and entered a not guilty plea before Christian Circuit Judge John Adkins.
Martin entered the room stoic and expressionless before standing at the bench with his defense attorney Michael Thompson. Martin never said a word while Thompson entered a not guilty plea for him during his arraignment.
Following his plea, Adkins scheduled Martin for his first pretrial conference to consider plea offers from the Attorney General Special Prosecutors John Heck and Barbara Whaley. Martin will appear in court for his first pretrial conference on July 10.
Heck also asked Adkins if there would be a 30-day requirement for his office to supply the defense with their discovery, or evidence, as is the usual practice for the Attorney General’s office. Adkins agreed to the requirement and Heck said his office would uphold the agreement.
Martin was indicted Friday, 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 early Saturday morning, 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.
Attorney General Andy Beshear said in a livestream on Monday, May 13, that he met with the family's son, Matt Phillips, nearly two years ago when Matt was worried that the case had stalled and that justice would not come. Beshear shared that he felt a need to take on the case and promised Matt that his office would do what they could.
Based on that meeting, Beshear accepted a request from the local commonwealth's attorney to appoint a special prosecutor from the attorney general's office to handle the case. After two years of investigative work, Beshear announced the indictment.
"I hope this is a day that brings some justice to these families," Beshear said. "There are many steps from here, but we hope this is one example of when you never stop seeking justice, when you never give up, that we can truly get important results for these families."
Martin is currently being held at the Christian County Jail. Adkins has ordered Martin be held without bond.