Christian “Kip” Martin was a Major and Apache pilot in the U.S. Army for a total of three decades, completing several combat deployments overseas.
He is now charged with a 2015 triple murder that happened in Pembroke. He was stationed at Fort Campbell and involved in a court-martial at the time of the murders.
His defense team during that court-martial told News 2 there’s more to this case than people know.
“It is hard for anyone to get their head around all of this, with so many twists and turns,” Mike Conzachi a private investigator with Martin’s defense told News 2 in a phone interview Sunday.
Martin was court-martialled on allegations that he sexually assaulted his wife, Joan and beat her son, as well as mishandled classified government documents.
But Conzachi insists “Kit Martin is an American hero.” He says Martin joined the army out of high school and then left to get his degree. When 9-11 happened, he rejoined to fight for his country, according to Conzachi.
“He had a spotless military record, spotless military record, and it wasn’t ’til simply trying to get a divorce that his whole world got turned upside down,” Conzachi said.
Martin’s defense team says after he and Joan split, Joan had intimate relations with neighbor and fellow soldier Calvin Phillips — one of the three murder victims.
Phillips was originally set to testify against Martin, but the defense claims he switched teams before he was murdered.
“After we interviewed Calvin Phillips, it turned out that we had half the story, and the rest of the story made him our star witness,” Defense Attorney Tucker Richardson told News 2, “If their motive is he killed Calvin Phillips ’cause he was going to testify in his upcoming court-martial, well that was nothing further than the truth.”
Phillips’ wife, Pamela, was also a victim, and their son, Matt Phillips, disagrees with what Tucker. He told CNN Sunday that his father was part of taking Martin to court in the first place.
“He handed over pictures of a, of a sub-16 year old boy that had been bitten, choked violently, multiple times,” Phillips said, “He also handed over discs that had classified information and should have never left an army post.”
Martin was only found guilty on minor charges including mishandling information and the “simple assault” of his step-son.
“It just floors me, I don’t know what they came up with after four years that lead to this indictment,” Tucker said.
Martin’s former defense team insists that this is some sort of set-up. They say the original sexual assault charges were dropped after they uncovered multiple fallacies in his now ex-wife’s statements.
The third murder victim is another neighbor, Edward Dansereau.
An indictment states the death penalty is an option in this case.