Neighbors relieved after suspect arrested in 2015 Christian County murders

Christian Martin

PEMBROKE, KY- People in Pembroke, Kentucky, are reacting to the arrest of Christian Martin in connection to a triple murder that happened more than three years ago.

Martin, an American Airlines pilot, was arrested over the weekend shortly before takeoff in Louisville. Attorney General Andy Beshear says Martin was responsible for the 2015 murders of Calvin and Pamela Phillips — who lived on South Main Street — along with their neighbor, Edward Dansereau. People who knew the three victims say the murders are still fresh in their minds. They say three-and-a-half years later, the arrest of a suspect puts them a little more at ease.

Roger Bush and his wife live across the street from where it happened. “It was unsettling, because there’s nothing that normally happens like that in a small community,” Bush says.

Steve Durham owns an auto shop down the road from the Phillips’ house, and he owns a shop that once belonged to the couple. He says Calvin was his best friend. “She was quiet. He’d give you the shirt off of his back. You know, to have it come to an end like that, it really didn’t make any sense,” Durham says.

Durham says, with no arrests in the case for so long, he and his wife, Linda, worried about their safety.

“When it first happened, in the morning I would go out and see if there were any red dots on my shirts and had a loaded rifle by the bed, but after a while you get used to it,” Durham says.

After Martin’s arrest and indictment, Durham says he can sleep a little easier.

“It has been a long time, and I’m sure a lot of people truly felt that it never would be solved. In a small community like this, it’s tough, because you’d like to think you’re pretty close to your neighbors and know who you’re living next to, but you really don’t,” Durham says.

Durham and Bush each say they’re ready to see what happens in court.

“Death penalty. It would be fair. He’d get off too easy for what he did, but at least he couldn’t do it again,” Durham says.

“I’d rather keep an open mind, and see what the evidence shows, and go from there,” Bush says.

One neighbor we talked to did not want to appear on camera, but she says she was very close friends with Calvin and Pamela for more than 20 years. She says, after the arrest, she hopes justice is served, and the Phillips’ family and friends can get closure.

Martin is scheduled to be arraigned on May 22 in Christian County.

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