Two important developments related to the military justice case of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin surfaced during the past 24 hours. Chief among them is that Christian County (Ky.) Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office officials released information about the identity of a shooting victim whose body was found Thursday afternoon inside a home at 443 South Main Street in Pembroke, Ky.
Contrary to what I reported in two earlier articles (here and here) and later corrected, WKDZ Radio reported this morning the Christian County officials said autopsy determined Calvin Lee Phillips, 59, died from several gunshot wounds to his upper body. They also reported they have yet to determine the identities of the victims found inside a burned-out vehicle earlier the same day. CCSO Captain Chris Miller said authorities will rely on DNA testing by the medical examiners office to help them identify those victims, with results expected within the next few weeks.
These bits of news come one day after several other developments took place.
On Tuesday morning, I received word from Fort Campbell Public Affairs Officer LTC Chevelle Thomas that the military judge handling Major Martin’s case had decided to delay the beginning of his military trial, moving it from Dec. 1 to an as-yet-undetermined future date
On Tuesday evening, Nashville’s Fox 17 television interviewed Bill Summers, Major Martin’s lead defense attorney. He told them Major Martin had been released after being held in barracks on the Army post since Friday while his off-post home was searched for clues in connection with the three bodies found in Pembroke Thursday.
DISAPPEARING FACEBOOK COMMENTS
Also Tuesday evening, two comments were posted below an article on the WKDZ Facebook page before later being removed either by someone at WKDZ or by the posters themselves — but not before I was able to obtain screenshots of the comments. Interestingly, the comments appeared beneath two names. FYI: I asked officials at WKDZ who was responsible for the comments being removed (i.e., station staff or Facebook users) and will post an update as soon as I receive an answer to that question yet.
One of the comments was made by someone with access to the Facebook account belonging to Major Martin’s ex-wife, a woman who pleaded guilty in Christian County Court Oct. 14 to one felony count of bigamy (i.e., she admitted in court to having married Major Martin without telling him she was still married to another man) only weeks before the major’s military trial on sexual assault allegations she had made was scheduled to begin at Fort Campbell. Most interesting, she wrote, “One of the main witnesses scheduled to testify against this man in an upcoming court martial on december 1st is now presumed murdered, just a couple weeks before trial. Now this man is telling lies about his victims in an attempt to discredit them before court.” Interesting words coming from a convicted felon whose crime was rooted in deception.
The other comment was made by someone with access to the Facebook account of the oldest child of Major Martin’s bigamist ex-wife/accuser and the biological son of a man in Oregon who is scheduled to testify during Major Martin’s military trial. He’s also the man who expressed surprise when investigators hired by Major Martin tracked him down and told him that the mother of his child had, for almost two decades, been telling people he had been decapitated in a logging accident. For more details, read my Sept. 20 piece, Reportedly Decapitated in Logging Accident Almost 19 Years Ago, Man Ready to Testify on Behalf of Accused Army Officer. Included in his hard-to-read comments was the claim that the major “stole a government laptop and secret classified info” and “He is telling lies about his victims while in custody for a murder investigation! this guy is crazy. He needs to be in prison.”
Though I seriously doubt a teenager was at the keyboard posting the comment, it’s worth noting the claims about theft and spying — reportedly made by his mother and Phillips, the man who was found dead inside his home Thursday — were, as I first reported in an article Sept. 28, proven to be without merit by Army investigators who conducted an extensive, six-month investigation of Major Martin. That investigation included surveillance and wiretapping as well as an extensive search of his Pembroke home and lengthy interrogation sessions. As far as I can tell, the only thing accurate in the comments is that someone is crazy and needs to be in prison, but I don’t think it’s the highly-decorated Army officer.
Also worth noting as a recent event (shown in the video above) is that Major Martin’s lead defense attorney, Bill Summers, confirmed “Calvin Phillips was a witness. He was on our witness list and he was a witness on the governments witness list” during an interview with Sabrina Hall of Nashville’s Fox 17 television.
Do these new details change much in terms of the Army’s case against Major Martin? That’s hard to say, but they certainly confirm a few things in this reporter’s mind.
Stay tuned for more developments as they occur.
UPDATE 12/2/2015 at 9:51 a.m. Central: Because I have them, I decided to insert the graphic that shows the two disappearing Facebook comments.
UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:16 a.m. Central: A military judge continued the military trial date for Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin to sometime in March 2016, though no specific date has been set.
UPDATE 12/10/2015 at 11:10 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.
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