Pilot Arrested At Airport On Triple Murder Charges

Filed Under: American

Yesterday’s American Airlines flight 5523 from Louisville to Charlotte, operated by PSA Airlines (which is a wholly owned American Airlines subsidiary operating under the American Eagle brand), was delayed by nearly three hours.

This is because the plane’s first officer was arrested at the airport prior to the flight as he was being charged for the murder of three people in 2015.

A Kentucky grand jury charged the man with 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.

Here’s what allegedly happened, according to NBC News:

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said Saturday that Martin was responsible for the 2015 murders of Calvin and Pamela Phillips and their neighbor Edward Dansereau.

Calvin Phillips was found fatally shot at home in Pembroke, Kentucky, Beshear said in a video Saturday. The bodies of Pamela Phillips and Dansereau were found in Calvin Phillips’ vehicle, which had been set on fire in a corn field a few miles away from the couple’s residence, he said.

The pilot has been placed on “administrative suspension,” pending the outcome of the case. An American spokesperson said the following:

“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.”

Whether logical or not, I tend to think we like to believe that pilots are all emotionally and mentally stable, because we completely put our lives in their hands every time we fly. However, just like any other group in the world, there are some bad apples out there.

I hope they’re able to find justice in this horrible murder case, so that there can be closure for the families. Not that it matters in the least, but I’ve been binge watching “Cold Justice” lately, and I can just picture Kelly Siegler on the case.

  1. @Frank

    A grand jury found sufficient evidence to indict. Obviously not guilty yet but there’s clearly decent evidence of guilt. I certainly wouldn’t want him flying planes in the mean time.

  2. Grand Juries are rubber stamps for the prosecutors. They are literally chosen that way as anyone who shows a spec of independence, objectivity and questions the system is not selected (unless one answers questions in selection neutrally which I did to get on a jury). I have no more confidence in the legal system than I have in bureaucracy or politicians. 90% of politician’s laws I disagree with in the first place as well as their interpretation by judges.

    People have been on death row for 20 years based on eye witness testimony and later exonerated when new evidence or testing came to light. Even if someone is found guilty by a jury that does not mean they did it. Judges, prosecutors and cops all have an agenda at the expense of fundamental rights to freedom and due process and unfortunately juries go along with it when they have the power to say no.

  3. “administrative suspension” is not a verdict of guilty by AA, just of sufficient reason to keep him away from the controls of an airplane while the trial takes place. Seems reasonable to me, since even on AA Eagle scores of lives are at stake.

  4. Chilling
    A Sociopath flying a plane is packing a weapon of mass destruction. Just not in his back pocket. Fortunately for us, rarely do sociopaths become suicidal. They value their lives; just not anyone else’s. Hitler ended his life because he did not want to confront his massive failure and reap the condemnation of the world. More about deflation than hopelessness. Sociopaths are more likely to fake suicide as a way to escape rather than actually do the act.

    It must’ve been interesting conversation over the water cooler at AA over these past weeks and months.
    Just making a general comment about sociopaths who make up a large percentage of people who murder, especially when it is not a crime of passion or not somebody who is basically defending themselves because they are in a violent and abusive relationship. No inference should made about the subject at hand lol.

  5. Is there any particular reason that law enforcement had to arrest him immediately before the flight instead of making an arrest when he returns?

  6. @John Rogerson umm grand jurors aren’t specifically selected one by one. People literally get called for grand jury duty and serve. Trial juries are different and they are selected after questioning of prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys. Federal courts are a bit different. Of course, they wouldn’t want someone like you on a jury. You clearly are biased and wouldn’t follow the law and just think the system is out to get people. When someone is selected for a jury they are sworn to tell the truth before answering questions. You admitted you lied to get on the jury. That is called perjury. Why would anyone ever want someone like you deciding a case?

  7. @Bill makes for better television.

    I for one would be honored to have suffered the delay just to be able to tell the story that my flight was delayed because my pilot was arrested for *triple murder*.

    The man is a hero and we should stop vilifying him.

  8. If it were United where they tell you the reason for delay on their web site I wonder if it would have said “pilot arrested for triple homicide.”

  9. @ Bill

    Of course the prosecution wouldn’t want me as a juror because I believe in being objective and don’t worship the police state. Too many people are biased from the beginning against a defendant because they were arrested in the first place not believing that the police can be the criminals and making no attempt to protect the constitutional rights of the accused. The current justice system is more like a system of injustice that stacks the deck against a defendant. Looking at this article the pilot is condemned by the op without seeing any evidence because the op believes the police and prosecution must be right. I withhold judgement and assume someone is innocent until someone proves him or her overwhelmingly guilty of a real crime with real victims (rape, murder, theft, vandalism).

    Jury nullification is a fundamental aspect of democracy and a way for citizens to say no to bad politician’s laws. It is part of a system of checks and balances on the government but of course judges downplay it because they don’t believe the public should have the power to decide the law: I do.

  10. @Timothy J Berglund I am sure he will send you some shirtless pics if you ask politely.

  11. @John Rogerson, bravo for an intelligent and considered response. Here in Australia I’ve witnessed the jury system fail innocent people and send them to prison for the very reasons you mention.
    Pilots are people at the end of the day, subject to the same human frailties and strengths we all possess.

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