Murder on Main Street
Updated: Jul 31, 2022
Welcome to Crime Raven, real-life stories from law enforcement crimes and issues crime fighters face. In this podcast, crimes are researched using publicly available information or personal recollections. Content may be graphic, disturbing or violent, and maybe upsetting to some. Listener discretion is advised.
Suspects are considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
Pembroke, Kentucky is a tiny suburb of the Clarksville, Tennessee metropolitan area. The area is home to US Army Base, Fort Campbell. Fort Campbell is home to the renowned 101st airborne mission is air assault or highly mobile infantry transported to and around the battlefield by helicopter. It all sits on the Tennessee-Kentucky border Northwest of Nashville. The larger metropolitan area is just over 300,000 people, but Pembroke, Kentucky only claims about 700. It's barely a bedroom community, a wide spot split by Kentucky state, route 41 marked by a marathon station a dollar general and not much else. Pembroke is 20 minutes of gently rolling farmland Northwest of Fort Campbell. The appeal is a rural sensibility, farmland surroundings, not too distant from the services and civilization of Clarksville to the south or Hopkinsville to the north. Main street in Pembroke is lined, not with businesses, but with single-family houses some quite large and well, over a hundred years old. And one of those homes, 443 south main street, on a cold and rainy November 18th, 2015, The unthinkable happened.
The stately 4,000 square-foot home loomed large in the dim morning light. As the man approached. The side entrance, the one that everybody used was kind of towards the rear of the house, just off the driveway and parking area. The door itself was obscured by a lattice enclosed porch and walkway. The man moved quickly. Hoping that no one happened to be standing in the darkness behind the lattice. The man was familiar with the house and its residents. Familiar enough to know that only Calvin Phillips would be home. Calvin's wife always left early for work. The screen door threshold was the point of no return and the point of greatest danger. The man knew Calvin liked to shoot his guns and might have one readily available. The man was banking on surprise, a Blitzkrieg attack. The man moved up to the threshold and luck was on his side. Calvin had just put on his rain coat and was stepping out onto the enclosed porch. The two men looked at each other across the narrow room. Calvin's face opened up in shock and then fear as the man brought up the Glock pistol and fired. Bullets punching into Calvin's chest and neck. Calvin crumbled, mortally wounded, but the attack had just begun. The man consumed with anger. Fueled by adrenaline. Viciously beat Calvin's head with powerful blows, shattering nose and jaw. When the attack was complete, Calvin lay on the floor and enduring the last spasms of life. The man paused in silence. Far from a moment of reflection. The man was listening for sounds of alarm. The 45 in the enclosed space sounded like a cannon blast and shatteringly loud for a rural Kentucky morning. When the man was satisfied, he wasted no time covering his tracks, according to the plan The man.Picked up the 45 shell casings. He dragged Calvin's body out onto the porch. opened The cellar hatch and dropped the body down. The man. wiped. blood stains from the floor with towels and clothing lose at hand. With the most obvious evidence gone from the first floor, the man descended into the cellar. He gathered a small pile of wood and cardboard around Calvin's body. And lit it on fire. As the fire grew and the small cellar began to fill with smoke. The man retreated back up to the porch. Closing the hatch behind him. Trusting the fire below to cleanse his sin. Later that afternoon, the man returned. As he drove past, the man was surprised to see that the house at 443 south main street. was still standing. In fact, he could see no change to the house. So the man considered what had to be done to salvage the plan. A short time before 5:30 PM. The man returned to Calvin's home. He was surprised to see the Calvin Phillip's wife, Pamela's car was already there. She had come home early for the second time. That day, the man approached with cautious The man saw that the neighbor at Dan's rose car was parked on his side of the shared driveway. And his kitchen lights were on. Ed worked out of town for much of the week and had returned at a time that was inconvenient. with the echo of the 45, silver reverberating in the man's mind. He had changed things up. Now, the man carried a smaller and hopefully quieter. 22 caliber weapon. The plan was the same as the morning, but the man paused when he reached the screen door. The man saw Pam on the phone. Moving around in the hallway, beyond the kitchen. The man looked right and saw that the hatch to the seller was still covered by the dog bed that he put on it earlier. Even better. Calvin's ancient mud was lying on it. Calvin remained hidden below. And the plan could still work. Pam was pacing slightly. As she talked into a landline headset attached to a side table in the hallway? the man waited for the moment when Pam shifted away and then entered. Taking just a second to close the distance. Pam turned gasping as she saw the man and dropped the phone. The man grabbed her by the hair and Pam flail trying to get away. the first shot rang out as the man pulled her back, hitting her in the chest. The man fired three more shots into her head at almost point blank range. No one could survive those shots. Pam collapsed dead before she hit the floor. The sharp rack or the 22 is not as quiet as the man would have He paused standing over Pam's body in the dim hallway, just as the man had with Pam's husband, 10 hours earlier. then a few seconds later, the man heard a voice towards the driveway, Pam. a pause and again, louder, Pam. The man moved cross the kitchen. He recognized ed Dan's rose oice. As the man approached the door, he could see ed standing at the end of the fence line that divided the parking areas between the two houses. Ed had a phone in his hand and was raning his head from side to side as if seeing better, would allow him to decide what to do next. The man kicked into survival mode. The only thing to do when cornered is to attack into the ambush. The man exited the kitchen door and continued outside without pausing on the porch. As the man opened the screen door, he called out to ed who recognized him and was confused. The man was an express train, closing the gap and raising his gun at simultaneously fumbled in one pocket. Uh, his, his hand, brought the phone up to his head. The man fired three shots quickly. And to ed an's rose skull. The useless phone dropped from Ed's face and he fell with it onto the grass. His other hand was still gripping the pistol that he had only partially cleared from his pocket. That was three more shots. Once the man couldn't afford to have echoing through the neighbors. At Dan's row lay on open ground between two houses, only a hundred feet from main street Exposed an obvious to anyone passing on foot or in a car. Anyone looking for the source of the gunshots. The man made an instant decision. On pure adrenaline, the man grabbed ed by the feet and dragged him 60 yards back into the Phillips property away from prying eyes. The man didn't notice the gun and Ed's hand had slipped from his pocket. And ultimately fell loose on the ground near where LA. Exsanguinating. From the dark field behind Calvin and Pam Phillips house, the manpower. For the third time, that day, listening for anyone who might be raising the alarm. Hearing nothing. The man cautiously returned to Pam and began to cover his tracks. All the spent 22 brass was the top priority. Then just a few minutes into the cleanup. The man heard a car pull into the driveway as the man hit in the front of the house. A woman opened the kitchen door, but didn't step inside. The unknown woman called out several times for Pam and Calvin. After a couple of minutes, there was the sound of that car pulling out of the driveway. The man went outside and backed Pam's car up to be closer to the porch door. The close call with ed and the woman worried him. The man would have to come back later. He wrapped in head Pam's body locked the doors and quietly walked away. That evening. The man who killed three of the residents on south main street in pembro, Kentucky. Contemplated his next steps. Maybe a bigger fire. One that would destroy everything, including the evidence he might've overlooked. But that hadn't worked before. Uh, fire would also serve as a giant beacon. Focusing all the scrutiny right there. And right then, The man needed to spread some evidence out nd divert attention away from the crime scene. The man wanted the uncertainty that elapsed time creates in a murder investigation. Fortune favors the bold. So at one 30 on the morning of the 19th, when there was no police activity the Phillips house on south main street, The man went back to work. The man cleaned up any other brass and apparent blood. Then the man loaded Pam and Ed's dead bodies into Pam's car that he had positioned earlier. The man went into the cellar and tried to pull Calvin out. But by that time, The body was in full rigor and could not easily be carried up through the cellar hatch, much less compressed to fit into the already crowded sedan. So he left Calvin and the seller. The man drove Pam's car to the far side of Pembroke across highway 41 and two miles up Rosetown road. The man turned off on a dirt path that bisected a large pasture of the Home-ec farm. The field was bound on either side by a wooded line. The man knew that the dirt road disappeared into the trees. If followed far enough. That shelter was the man's. Destination Until speed caused a skid on rain, slick mud. And he was drugged off onto the soft shoulder. The car was stuck fast in the middle of a long pasture, still visible from Rosetown road.A couple of attempts to drive out where all the man needed to know that car was going nowhere. the man threw the keys into the darkness. He doused the car, lit it and ran along the dirt path towards Pembroke, less than two miles over land. When the man made it back to south main street, he went into ed Dan's Rose House. He came out with Ed's keys and wallet. The man stole his car, driving it east and taking pan Phillip's cell phone on a special journey. Around trip of just over an hour, brought the man back to south main street. He dumped at Dan's rose car in the parking lot of Pembroke elementary. A few blocks away. The Phillips and Dan rose houses were dark and quiet as the sun rose. And to the west tendrils of smoke, still marred the morning air above the home-ec farm.
Mark: Okay. So think about what you've just heard. What if I told you this crime was committed by two, 15 year old girls who are trying to break into a house to get a bottle of liquor and some weed. No I'm full of shit. Okay. You're right. I bring this up because you already have some idea of what kind of person where people could do this. Do you think as a stranger? Someone who just wandered under the scene. Or someone who knows those victims. Someone who has a grudge. Was this an impulse killing or was it planned? What was accomplished by this crime? Was this a high or low risk crime or both, depending on what stage you're talking about. if you think about the crime and the logistics of it. You can fit it closely to the type of offender. What access the offender had to have had. And who they probably were. This case caught my interest. It's a very controversial case. People believe all kinds of things about what happened. Some of the details are important, but they're probably some red herrings in there. Because it's smelled fishy from the start.
John home-ec and Hilbert jet were neighbors. Each living and farming on several acres of land bordering Rosetown town road, just outside pembro, Kentucky. on November 19th, 2015, just after 2:00 AM. Both men were separately awakened from their beds to booming sounds Home-ec thought they were shotgun blast and figured that there were people illegally hunting the woods at the Southern end of his property. He wasn't about to go out at that hour to confront armed men, even if they were trespassing. Just to the north. Hilbert Jet's dog was barking in response to those noises. Waking the entire house. Jack calm the dog and saw from his bathroom window, a fire burning in the field at the far side of the hedge row between the properties. The flames were in the general direction of Homax burn pit. Both men comfortable in their rationalizations. Went back to sleep. Then Hilbert jet left his house to run errands just before 9:00 AM on November 19th. As he drove south on Rosetown road, he saw a burnt up car. And Homax field right about where he'd seen those flames seven hours earlier. The vehicle, a small sedan was still smoldering. Jet pulled up to the barn where home-ec lived and the men agreed they should call 9 1 1. The first to arrive were volunteer firefighters who looked into the charred metal shell of a car and saw one, maybe two skulls lying on the floorboards. The firefighters were treated to Rosetown road, blocked access and called for police. A deputy from the Christian county Sheriff's office arrived a short time later. He verified the skulls in the car. Which started the chain of detective call-outs. The Sheriff's department also reached out to Kentucky state police who assigned one of their investigator. Leonard Smith to the case. As an aside during this case, Leonard Smith retired from Kentucky state police. And was hired as a detective Lieutenant by the Christian county Sheriff's office. So we'll refer to him as Lieutenant Smith. Then investigators arrived at the scene, they examined the car stuck just off the dirt road. There were still standing puddles across the field from recent heavy rains. One of the investigators saw the car keys tossed about 40 feet away under a couple of inches of water. The investigators also matched the few tire imprints on the road to responders and John Homax Toyota Tundra. Lieutenant Smith noted that the car fire had been scorching. Almost everything was ashes in the bottom of the car. The rear window glass had popped and melted into the back dash. And as he looked around the wreckage, he smelled the distinct odor of kerosene. The license plate on the rear of the vehicle was burned off onto the ground, but the tag was still readable. The tag came back to Calvin and Pamela Phillips at 4 43 south main street in Pembroke. The vehicle was wrapped, put on a slide back tow truck and take into a storage area for further processing. The focus shifted to the Phillips residence On south main street. 4 43 south main is a large old home. One of several that line, both sides of main street. The house sits back off the sidewalk about 75 From the front, it looks like an average size lot for the size of the house, but the property extends back in a narrow corridor for several acres. The lot is actually so large that the house and the front yard sit in city limits. and the rear acreage juts out on the county land. The Phillips and residents on similarly situated properties, shoot firearms on the county land. and activity that's prohibited inside the city boundary. On November 19th, Christian county Sheriff's deputies arrived at the Phillip's house. Around noon. All that they knew was that a car registered to that address had been burned off Rosetown road with two bodies in it. There was no answer at the door. As deputy stood in the driveway, one of them noticed drops of what looked like blood on the paper. Widening their focus. They could see numerous blood spots and the drive and walkway centered around the house aside door. The deputies entered the house, clearing each room, ensuring that no one was hurt or hiding. On the initial sweep, deputies did not find anything alarming. It was a large old house and parts were being remodeled. there was to construction debris that had not yet been cleared. In addition to the debris, the house was cluttered with the kind of objects amassed over decades of lives being lived. The only resident found in the house was a sickly German shepherd dog. Lying on a dog bed inside the enclosed porch. During the wait for detectives deputies did what they could to prepare. Animal control came and took the dog. The deputies made note of additional indication. that something bad had happened. There were swipes of blood on the entry door, blood on a blue tarp near where the dog had been lying. A pool of blood at the end of a privacy fence that formed the border between the Phillip's backyard and ed Dan's rose. And next to that, a cell phone on the ground with a swipe of dried blood. When deputies went to the side door of Dan's Rose House, the one that faced the Phillips house, they found that door open. No one answered when they yelled inside. By two in the afternoon, detectives were working with a search warrant that allowed a detailed search of the Phillip's house and property. Detective shot a video walkthrough of the entire home. They took photos documenting the overall scene and items of specific interest, including a Ruger pistol on the kitchen table. Another semiautomatic pistol laying next to the house phone on the sidetable in the hallway. A nine millimeter pistol next to the bed and the upstairs master, there was a subpoena ordering Calvin Phillips to appear in a military court martial on a desk upstairs. They found more evidence in the grass, in the backyard. 60 yards behind the house. An old looking semi-automatic pistol lay near a second pool of blood, much larger than the pool of blood at the end of the fence. As detective search, the enclosed porch, one picked up a pair of sweat pants. One leg of the pants was trapped under what turned out to be a hatch. The door was flush with the decksurface and had gone a notice because it had been covered with a large dog bed. The detective slid the bed away and pulled the door up. Below him and the dim light of the seller, he could see the body of Calvin Phillips facing up Calvin was obviously dead, but investigators called for a paramedic to assess the body. Katie Rogers examined Calvin's body and noted that he was cyanotic because his nail beds were blue. His pupils were clouded fixed and dilated. Lividity, which is the gravitational pooling of blood within the body. That happens after death had set in. Calvin's body was stiff, also known as rigor, mortis. Calvin was on his back with his arms extended up and his legs bent. It was apparent that Calvin was not lying in his original position of death. He had been moved into this position after rigor had said. Investigators noted that Calvin had a bullet wound to the chest. And injuries to his face. he had dried blood on his pants and coat. Calvin was lying on a pile of burned wood, cardboard, towels, and clothing. He was wearing a rain coat with a hood cinched down over his head. One arm of the PVC jacket had melted off during the fire. when Calvin was moved. Investigators saw that the debris around and under the body was a Pyre that had only partially burned. On the ground at the base of the stairs, label at fragment and a piece of tooth. While the Phillip's house was being searched that day. Word spread around town and across the state. And people began to call the police with information. Marlene Larock who was a friend of Calvin's who lived nearby. They had bonded over their mutual love of German shepherds. On the morning of the 18th, the vet that they shared told Marlene, that Calvin's dog was sick and likely to die. Marlene and her adult daughter, Michelle, who was visiting from out of state, went to see Calvin around 2:00 PM. She said it was strange that the door to the house was open, but no one answered when she knocked and yelled inside. Marlene called Pam on her cell phone and left a message about the visit. Pam didn't call Marlene back until about 5:30 PM. Pam said that she just arrived home from work and Calvin was not around, ut his wallet and cell phone were there. Pam said that she had just gotten off the phone with the neighbor ed. Pam had asked ed to check the back of the property for Calvin. She was worried. Maybe Calvin had hurt himself somewhere. Just then Marlene said she heard Pam say something like, hold on. I see something. Marlene heard her friend admit a startle type scream. And then heard nothing more. Marlene thought the line was open. So she listened and waited for several minutes, but Pam never returned. Marlene was unsettled by the situation. So she asked her daughter, Michelle to go back with her. Marlene said that Pam's car was there parked in its usual location No's in by the house. And for the second ime that day she found the house doors open again. She called inside, but no one responded. Marlene said that she was afraid to go in the house. So after a few minutes, they left. When they arrived back at their house. Marlene still felt disturbed. She really wanted to know that everything was all right. So at 7:00 PM. She and Michelle. Returned to the Phillips house for the third time. That day. This time, the house was closed and dark. Pam's car had been moved now it was turned around and backed in near the door. Marlene thought the car's position was unusual. But still no answer at the door. When investigators call the army criminal investigations division or CID. About the subpoena on Calvin's desk, detectives were told that they would get a call back. Instead that afternoon, several CID officers arrived at the scene. About the subpoena. The CID guys literally pointed across the street to the yellow house, belonging to Christian Martin. They said that Calvin Phillips was a key prosecution witness in a court martial. Where Martin was being tried for domestic violence assault. And mishandling of confidential information. The charges were severe enough to end Martin's career and could send him to prison. They also said that Calvin Phillips was worried that Martin would retaliate. By the afternoon of the 19th. The Investigators still had a lot of uncertainty as they began to talk to people close to the potential victims. They knew that Calvin was dead in the cellar and they knew they had two skulls in Pam's car. Calvin and Pam's son, Matt lived two and a half hours north Matt was able to give detectives some background on his parents. Calvin at 59 was a retired air force and army helicopter pilot who had served in Somalia and the Gulf war. As Matt grew up, Pam was a stay-at-home mom. And then vice-president at heritage bank in Hopkinsville, about 30 minutes from Penbrook. The couple had been married for over 30 years. And had lived in the same house for most of that time. Matt knew the neighbor at Dan's row and said he was good friends with his parents. Matt said his parents were worried about the pending court. martial. The trial had been delayed several times and tensions increased with each continuance. Calvin and Pam were discouraging people from visiting until the case was resolved Matt didn't know all of the details of the court martial, but he knew it involved his father turning over items to the FBI. That he had obtained from Martin's ex wife, Joan Hart. Matt explained that his parents had helped Joan Harmon move out of the Martin house when the marriage broke up. For a time after that split Harmon rented a property in Pembroke that the Philips owned. Calvin identify classified material among Martins property during the move. And Calvin took that to the FBI. That material and photographs of Martin stepson's injuries were the basis for the court.Marshall, Matt Phillips was asked to identify his father with a picture of Calvin's head. showing only from the nose up. investigators wanted to spare him the sight of his father's mangled lower face. Penny Casey worked with Pam Phillips at the Hopkinsville bank. When penny talked to investigators, she told them that as recently as Monday, November 16th, Pam had voiced concerns about the court martial situation. Pam told penny that they were keeping family away during the holiday season because of the tension. Pam was worried that if they left Martin would break into their home and might kill them when they returned. On the 18th of November, Pam left work at 5:00 PM, which was a little early. She had been angry at Calvin because they were expecting a delivery of her birthday present from her son. A new washer and dryer. Calvin knew this and he was going to be there to receive and set up the appliances. The delivery people called Pam before 11 and told her no one was answering the door. By the time Pam left work that evening, she was worried because she'd been unable to reach Calvin all day. On the 18th and 19th of November, Sally Jackson had tried in vain to reach her longtime boyfriend at Dan's row. His house was in Pembroke, but he usually spent much of his time during the week with her in bowling green. Where he worked as a music instructor and as a jazz musician. When the detective finally called her, he had no answers, only questions. She told them that ed went to his pembro comb on the afternoon of the 18th after finishing Ed's car should be at his house. Ed was a gourmet cook and he made high quality meals even when he was just cooking for himself. And his plan was to make fish that night. The fact that he hadn't called her was very unusual. She said that ed was good friends with the Philips. And ed was generally aware that there was some kind of problem with Martin across the street, but ed wasn't involved in that. Sally was able to identify the pistol lying on the grass. 60 yards behind the Phillips house from a photo. She said the gun was an old German pistol that Ed's father had brought back from world war II. The phone smeared with blood found lying on the ground at the end of the fence was also ads. At Dan's rose car was eventually found at the nearby elementary school. He's written the ignition and his wallet was in the center By the evening of November 19th. Christian county Sheriff's office knew they had a big case on their hands, A body and a seller. two skulls and a burned out car. Two missing people and a potential suspect. The morning of the 20th. Was a busy one. Deputies had secured the Phillips and Dan's rose houses overnight. They'd kept an eye out for activity across the street at Martins place. Deputies added to their account of search warrants. One for at Dan's rose car. One for a Dan's Rose House. And one for four 80 south main street, the Martin residence Dan's Rose House was pretty simple. The scene told the tale, the investigators expected. There appeared to be nothing unusual. The inside of the house was tidy. They could see signs of what Sally Jackson said were Ed's plans for the previous evening. Officially next to the kitchen sink. near a beer wrapped in a UK hugger sleeve. The kitchen window offered a perfect view of the Phillips parking area and back door Across the kitchen in the living room. Ed's recliner was unoccupied except for a leather holster with an extra magazine pouch that someone had dropped in the seat. The search warrant for Martin's house was also executed on November 20th. Entry and securing of the house were accomplished using the regional SWAT team. The only person home was Laura Martins, girlfriend. Investigators knew that Martin was at Fort Campbell and Laura's kids were in school. However, this was a triple murder investigation where many facts were unknown, which called for caution. And the SWAT team. As the search of Martin's home progressed, investigators seized several items. His pickup truck was impounded, where they found a box of PMC 45 rounds. a rifle magazine for a 22. A box of 22 ammunition. A five gallon kerosine container was seized from a utility room an AR style 22 rifle and handgun on a closet shelf. A handgun and a flowered person, a closet. a rifle in the crawl space. A handgun in a nylon case behind a computer Uh, 1911 style handgun in the master bedroom. a large century gun safe and the upstairs den. And Martins video security system and phone were seized. Along with evidence, photos were taken of a recently used fire pit in the backyard. Muck boots, caked with dried mud. And an inside view of the house, his front door showing a newer looking security brace. Not all evidence seized in criminal investigations as found immediately after the cases report. In major cases like this evidence of one kind or another is found, gathered, or seized. As the analysis progresses. For example, months later, a sample of hair was taken from Martin by search warrant, with the Assistance of the North Carolina bureau of investigations. And additional search warrant was required to open Martin safe. And century safe company responded with a passcode. Inside that safe was a Glock model, 21 pistol, which fires 45 caliber rounds. The safe also held a power of attorney. That Martin had granted to his girlfriend, Laura Spencer. It was signed on November 16th, 2015. Some evidence missed in the original crime scene processing was turned in by members of the Phillips family. The items had been discovered while they were in the process of cleaning out the house. One was a dog tag with Martin's name on it, found on a high shelf. off the kitchen. The tag was attached to a simple white cord, similar to a kite string. The original crime scene photos showed a string on a shelf still. It was high enough to be overlooked by investigators.The Phillips family also turned over other items on two separate occasions that they found while cleaning. a 22 caliber bullet. Swept from under the kitchen stove. And a 45 caliber casing from behind a pile of wooden construction debris on the enclosed porch. On December 23rd, 2015, the Kentucky medical examiner officially confirmed. That the remains from the burned out car on Rosetown road. Were those of Pam Phillips and ed Dan's row On December 31st, 2015, seemingly out of the blue, a woman identified as Martin's ex wife, Joan Harmon. brought Pam Phillip's cell phone. The one that Pam used before she was killed. To the at T store in Hopkinsville asking for it to be unlocked.
Mark: The arrest for the murders of Pam and Calvin Phillips and ed Dan's row came on May 11th, 2019. By that time Martin was flying commuter planes for American airlines. He was arrested just after passing through security at the Hammad Ali international airport and Martin was charged with three counts of first degree murder.Two counts of. Burglary in the first degree, two counts of arson. And tampering with evidence. There's been extensive reporting and publicity about the crime. During the intervening years, Martins defense team requested a change of venue and the proceedings were moved to harden county, Kentucky. Trial began June 1st, 2021. The backstory began in 2011 when Martin was married to Joan Harmon. They live together with her three kids at four 80 south main in pembro, Kentucky. The marriage ended after an argument during which they both called the police. When officers arrived, Martin agreed to leave the house for them. The following day, Joan Harmon was granted a domestic violence restraining order. Martin was barred from the house for several weeks, pending a court hearing. After the meeting with the judge Martin was allowed back into the house. When he arrived there, Joan Harmon had moved out with most of the personal property in animals. Calvin and Pam Phillips had helped Joan Harmon move and allowed her to temporarily rent one of their nearby properties. During the move, Calvin Phillips had found some items. A disc and a laptop where classified military information was stored. In addition, Joan Harmon gave Calvin photos that she had taken of her son. Showing bruises that they said were caused by Martin. Calvin turned the laptop and other materials over to the FBI. Which became evidence in a court martial process. So Calvin Phillips was a key player in the original charges against The date of the court martial had been repeatedly delayed for almost a year. At the time of the murders, the trial was scheduled to start in early December, 2015. Calvin Phillips and the others were murdered on November 18th. The court martial finally proceeded in may of 2016. Martin was convicted of misdemeanors instead of the original felony charges. The prosecution implied during the murder trial that the military case suffered without Calvin's testimony. The following are summaries of testimony. By prosecution witnesses. Calvin sister Diana Phillips lives on the east coast. She was aware that Calvin would be a witness against Martin and knew that Calvin had assisted Joan when she moved out. Diana was worried that their involvement would cause problems with the neighbor who she'd never After the murders, Diana returned to Pembroke regularly. Estimating five or six trips to help her nephew, Matt Phillips deal with Calvin and Pam's property. The house was full of stuff. They had to sort through and clean everything. She said that while they were going through this process, they also kept an eye out for anything that might be evidence in the case. On November 30th, Dianna found a dog tag on a white string sitting on a high shelf in the foyer next to the kitchen. The dog tag had the name, Christian Martin on it. A family friend who was helping clean brushed uh, 22 from under the stove. Both items were bagged and handed over to a Sheriff's detective. On April 16th, 2016 during another trip. Diana said that she and her nephew, Matt were making progress with the house. And most of the personal property had been removed. She cleaned the enclosed porch near the door to the house. She began to move a pile of construction debris left over from one of Calvin's renovation projects. Diana found a bullet casing in the debris pile. During the trial prosecutors play the security camera footage of Diana finding that casing. Diana and her family had installed the security cameras after the murders to monitor the often vacant home. In Pam and Calvin son mats testimony, he told how he Found out about his parents'. Murders. And the process of sorting out their property. That was aware of his father's involvement as a witness in the Martin court marshal. but he didn't know all the details. As the holidays that approached in 2015, Matt said his parents were discouraging anyone from visiting them because of the friction with the neighbor. This was unusual because his parents often had people visit Or they would travel to gatherings at the grandparents' home in Michigan. hat holiday season. They were not going to travel or have people over. Because of the upcoming trial. During cross examination. Matt said that he became increasingly frustrated as time passed and an arrest had not been made. His family talked to an attorney about how they could pressure police and prosecutors to move forward. They offered a reward of a hundred thousand dollars for information leading to arrest. And they met with attorney general of Kentucky. Andy BearShare. Sally Jackson, ed Dan's rose girlfriend recounted her last conversation with him. And what do you plan for the evening of November 18th after he departed bowling green? She confirmed that the gun found at the Phillip's backyard was EDS and told the story of how he came to own it. And when asked Sally said that she remembers Martin drinking a beer with ed on his front porch, but that they weren't good friends. And she doubted ed ever had Martin over for dinner. Marlene LA rock took the stand to talk about her longtime friendship with the Phillips. She repeated that she had visited the house around 2:00 PM and found the door open, but no one responds. Marlene also described the phone conversation with Pam. And hearing her scream at 5:30 PM. she talked about the other two visits that Phillip's house one at 6:00 PM with no response. And the door open and the one at 7:00 PM, finding the door locked and Pam's car backed in. to other prosecution witnesses, Steve Durham and Steve Ballinger. were longtime friends of Calvin's. They both described separate conversations where Calvin expressed concern about his safety and thought that Martin might try to kill him. Penny Casey worked with Pam Phillips at the Hopkinsville bank. She took the stand to recount what she told investigators about Pam's fear of Martin. And the expected delivery of the washer and dryer at 10:00 am on November 8th. Major James Garrett is a us army JAG officer. He testified that he was the prosecutor in the court martial of Martin. Garrett said that Calvin Phillips was the key to the court martial of Martin because Calvin identified and turned in the disc containing classified information and photos of injuries of Martin stepson. Between January, 2015 and the court martial date set for early December, 2015. There were several continuances. Garrett said that Calvin was increasingly concerned that Martin would do something to harm him. Major Garrett said that during the buildup to the court, Marshall Martin was aggressive and complaining about how he was being treated, which included a congressional complaint, targeting the government prosecutors and the commanding officers at 4k. These complaints were investigated and the end result was the JAG officers and the commanders had done nothing wrong. Major Garrett said that Martin also spread misinformation that Joan Harmon was motivated by financial assistance that she expected to receive from the government. Despite knowing that Harmon was never eligible for any financial assistance. Because of her lack of legal marital status. Garrett was clear that contrary to Martins public assertions, the defense and the court martial was calling. Calvin Phillips, not as a cooperator, but to discredit him. After the court Marshall, the jury panel issued Martin, a dismissal from service based on several counts. that They convicted him of. For officer's a dismissal effects, benefits and retirement eligibility. John home-ec and Hilbert jet testified to their home locations and observations of the burned vehicle on November 19th. Mr. Homax said he had CCTV surveillance that only showed north across his parking area. And did not Cover the Rosetown road or the dirt road. The defense showed smoke blowing from left to right or west to east across the parking lot at around 11:50 PM.Home-ec said it was probably ground fog, which happens on the farm regularly. James Matlock was a resident of Pembroke who worked on John Homax farm. James was a reluctant witness. After the murders. James mentioned to Bubba, his employer and John Homax son that he saw Martin walking around on the farm. The Saturday before the murders. Sometime after that Bubba reported what James said to the police. During testimony. James looked at an aerial photo of the farm. He indicated that he saw Martin walking around in a specific location near the woods. The encounter happened as James was driving a three Wheeler and the distance was about 50 feet. James said Martin was wearing a yellow shirt and blue jeans. And. May have been walking a dog. In response. To a question. James said that he knows Martin and doesn't like him. Mentioning that there had been problems with Martin on James property in the past. Christian county detectives gave additional testimony about locations. They searched and evidence. They found to provide context for upcoming expert witness testimony. The Rosetown road car scene was described in detail. The Phillip's home was described as cluttered and filled with personal property. There was some renovation work being done near the back deck. No bullet casings were found on the scene by police. And there was evidence of an attempt to clean this. Lieutenant Smith described finding Calvin Phillips and burn debris in the cellar. Some of the less obvious evidence was described. There was a long curl of dark hair on the kitchen floor.There was suspected bloodstains collected from various places in the The kitchen and the enclosed porch. Samples of stains from the cellar stairs, the sidewalk, the blood patches and Phillips grass were all collected. Details of the search warrant served in the Martin residents were covered by two detectives. Several firearms were seized. The Glock 45 was not known immediately, but was found under a separate search warrant for. A safe. All of the other weapons. were unsecured and found in various locations around the house. Lieutenant Smith presented video clips that showed the comings and goings of the residents from the rear of the Martin home. The back was the only area covered by video surveillance system. Still. It clearly showed when everyone came and went by car. Lieutenant Smith also presented a video from the at and T store in Hopkinsville on new year's Eve. A woman identified as Joan Harmon accompanied by her three children. Entered the store and were held by staff at the main counter. In the video, Harmon is taken aside by an employee and then she and the children leave the store. Detective noise worthy testified that he was called to the Hopkins at and T store for Pam Phillips Joan Harmon was gone when he arrived, but he identified her on surveillance footage while detective Norsworthy was at the at and T store, Joan Harmon and William Stokes tried to call him. noise worthy, left the store and drove to Joan Harmon's home. 20 minutes away. In response to a pointed question. The detective stated that Joan Harmon is not a suspect in this murder case. The prosecution showed detective Noyes worthy a photo of Martins front door from the inside. He had described that the door was secured by a newer looking brace bar that was wedged between the door and the floor. The most tedious part of the trial was the forensic result analysis. for the most part, the evidence results were ambiguous. They did not directly point. to Martin. Nor did they exclude him? Dr. Jeffrey Springer, a state pathologist and medical examiner did a painstaking disassembly of the contents of Pam's car. Dr. Springer was able to identify two clear groupings of bones. Both were identified. Through familial DNA as Pam Phillips in the front and ed Dan's row in the backseat. He described
the bodies as being burned up almost as much as you can be burned up. The results had basically compressed into a heap on the floorboard. Still Dr. Springer was able to identify different organ tissues as strata in the mass. He found three projectile fragments in Pam's brain tissue. And one in her heart tissue. Ed Dan's row had three projectile fragments in his brain tissue. And a surgical plate and Ed's remains matched an injury. He'd. Had early in life. Dr. Randall falls also a state pathologist and medical examiner performed the autopsy on Calvin Phillips. Calvin suffered five gunshot wounds to his left neck collarbone left chest, right chest and lower left chest. Calvin was also beaten severely. He'd suffered multiple head and. Face blunt force injuries, including abrasions, lacerations, contusions, a broken nose, a broken jaw, and a lacerated tongue. The doctor determined that the head and face injuries. were anti mortem and. Peri mortem, meaning that Calvin was assaulted with a blunt object or a fist before or during death. Dr falls noted. that Calvin had no injuries to his hands or arms that might indicate defensive positioning. some hairs and ed Dan's rose car, where microscopic matches to the sample of Martins hair. Still the FBI could not make a definitive match for several reasons. The hair collected from the car was not long enough. And there wasn't enough of it. The loose clump of hair on the kitchen was not Martins based on microscopic comparison, probably it belonged to Pam Phillips. There was no blood found on any of the items collected from Martin. And no DNA on the dog tag found at the murder scene. There was not enough DNA on the dog text string for analysis. The blood sample from the kitchen floor and the back porch were Calvins. The blue tarp had Calvin's blood on it. As did a white tag from the back porch. The bloodstains on the driveway and pavement were Pam. The blood taken from a carpet cutting. And the kitchen was also PAMs The blood pools in the side and backyard grass where at Dan's rose and a hair in one of the tape lifts from Ed's car also belonged To ed. The ignitable liquids analysis in the car fire was a non event. The experts testified that if. They were present. Ignitable liquids would probably be completely burned off. n the center of a fire that was as hot and complete as Pam's car was also a car fire is often fueled by the flammable liquid n. The gas The cell phone data continued the pattern of indefinite results. The location info was of limited use showing Martin cell phone was in the general area. And that included his home, the murder site and the Rosetown road scene. As far as usage during the critical two days, Martin cell phone had been used regularly, but there were gaps And downtimes. During these periods, like the morning and evening of November 18th. The prosecution asserted. He carried out the murders. There was suspicious activity on Martin's phone. Usually he had a repeating alarm at 6:48 AM with top gun ring tone. What was unusual, was it on the 18th? At 11:27 PM. An alarm was set. For 1:10 AM on the 19th. And there was no activity on the cell phone until seven thirty nine. On the ninth. No activity means no calls, no texts and no data exchanges. And analysis of Pam's phone showed that it had been wiped to factory restore. However, the experts said that this could have been intentional or the result of someone typing in the wrong password more than 10 times. As far as Pam Phillip's phone location. At and T gave information that the location data is unreliable. What can you said is that the phone was hitting on three towers at once in the Pembroke and Elkton areas. It's worth noting that both prosecution and defense experts made errors in cell phone, data analysis. That were corrected just before the trial. Each side pointed out the opposing sides, Mr. Phone records were obtained for Calvin and Pam Phillips. and ed Dan's rose phones, including the landline and cell. These searches allowed them to verify the times and lengths of phone calls. At 5:20 PM. Pam Phillips 80 and T cell called ed Dan's rose landline. And they talked for. Five minutes. At 5 25, pan Phillips 18 T cell called ed Dan's row cell. The call us at three seconds, but they couldn't verify it actually connected. At 5:30 PM. Pam Phillips landline calls, Marlene LA Rox Landline. And the call last one minute and four So. At 5:30 PM. Marlene Laura calls, Pam Phillips cell. And the connection last six seconds. And at 5:31 PM. Marlene, the rock calls, Pam Phillips landline, and the connection last seven minutes. Lee Collier is a firearms and tool mark expert who testified for the prosecution. For the most part, the bullet analysis followed the trend of other trace analysis. The experts could not match evidence directly to Martin, nor were they able to exclude Martin. None of the 22 rounds were usable for matching to guns due to deformity. Or fragmentation. They had the same rifle and characteristics as Martins 22 weapons, but it's the most. Common rifling used in the The physical characteristics of spent bullets were consistent with the RWS brand. 22 bullets taken from Martins property. But that bullets shape is also common.The bullet found under the Phillip stove was also consistent with the RWS rounds taken. From Martin. The bullets and fragments taken fromCalvin Phillipsbody were very likely fired from a Glock pistol based on that weapons, unique rifling. Pattern. The bullets were unique and challenging to match because they were designed to break apart and form eight distinct wound channels. The butt end of these bullets had striation marks. Sufficient to match two of them to a barrel with a distinct polygon UL. Rifling pattern almost exclusively used by clock. The Glock barrel design is notorious for not leaving sufficient marking as on bullets that were provide conclusive identification.
The experts agreed on one map. The 45 casing found under the debris pile on the Phillips porch had ejection markings made by a Glock model 2145 caliber pistol. Seized from Martins gun safe. The primer of that casing also. Had the distinct Glock elliptical firing pin impression. Near the end of the prosecution case. The court heard emotion From attorneys.for Joan Harmon and her son, Justin Harmon. They wanted to assert their Rights under the fifth amendment and. not be required to testify in the Martin trial. The assertion was that both Harmons are potential suspects. And they are choosing not to answer any questions. They're lawyers went further and said that it is clear that the Harmons were being set up as alternate murderers by the Martin defense camp. The unusual bigamy charge pushed by those same people. Evidence they say was planted by Martin And public releases by private detective and defense team members indicate the Harmon's legal jeopardy. They argued that Martin's sixth amendment, right. Does not Trump, Joan and Justin's fifth amendment, right?If Martin wanted to claim Joan. Harmon was the real murderer. He wasn't being barred from doing so. Neither the prosecution. Nor the defense was in favor of excluding the Harmons from testifying. The special prosecutor went further and said she had no intention of charging. Joan Harmon with any crime. The defense wanted the Harmons to testify because their defense is that Joan and Justin are the real murderers that set Martin up.In the end. the judge ruled that the Harmons could assert their rights and would not be forced to testify.The jury was not present for this hearing.
Mark: We divided. These crimes into more than one episode, because of how complex the case is. But we wanted to talk about a couple of Things from this episode. However, most of our discussion will be after the second part.
So mark, you crafted a narrative of what happened to Calvin. and Pam Phillips and ed Dan's Euro. Based on your research. How do you know that the story we've told really went down like that?
So I heard about this case. It's a Kentucky case near where I live. I had no idea at the time I started researching it. How much. Publicity uh, gathered. What I found was there's a ton of information. And as I gathered information, I started. To form a definite opinion And the opinion was sometimes very contradictory to what Some of the loudest voices. about the. Controversy we're saying. So I wanted to look into it. I watched. All the court testimony I could. Um, and I came. Up with. Based on the evidence location. based on the timing that one of the unique things about this case is that. You know, some, some crimes are called in at the, at the time. So, you know exactly when they happen. But a lot of times when Bodies are found you don't. know exactly. The order of events. How long ago it occurred. You may have an idea, this case. Multiple. Murder case. We know. Pretty close to when exactly they happen. With Calvin. We know he was probably Murdered sometime between eight and 9:00 AM that morning. He was certainly dead before 10:00 AM. When the, people showed up to deliver the washer and dryer. with Pam, uh, her friend heard her scream on the phone and there's no reasonably that wasn't the exact moment she was murdered. with that, you, pretty much can look at the evidence and, know that ed dancer was killed, immediately thereafter.you know, he could have been killed before, but my, feeling was, I think it happened exactly as it was written, I looked at the locations where, individuals, piece of evidence, where, where was the blood? where was the shell casing that was found?There were a lot of shell casings. Obviously there are a lot of shots fired from automatic semi-automatic weapons and the shell casings were obviously collected, which ended up ended of itself, give you kind of the mindset of the murderer. You look at the injuries to the bodies, and again, those evidence markers on the scene, and you can put where they were shot, where they were killed, in that kind of storyline.talk a little bit about how you decided whether he was beaten first. I asked some people what they thought. So from the mindset of a guy who is going into a house, what do we know about Calvin? He liked to shoot guns.
So he's likely to be armed or at least have access to firearms, uh, in a very short period of time. that is a high-risk, kind of contact. If you're going to go in and kill Calvin Phillips in his house where his guns are, you have to be thinking, this has to be quick, I've gotta take care of it right away.
Um, so now if you're angry enough to do the kind of damage that Calvin had on his body, um, are you going to go in and beat him or are you going to shoot him first? And, you know, I asked around what people thought about that scenario. And most people given that scenario, Calvin is likely to have access to weapons.
there were firearms, literally laying all over the house, easily accessible. the killer's assessment of that, if he felt that way and he should have, was probably appropriate that he, take the target down as soon as possible. that means shooting, right?
the shell casing that was found was ejected and found on the porch. the other thing that keeps me off to, what, the sequence of events was here is you take a guy like Calvin, who is any young man.
you beat him about the head. So severely his jaws broken his nose broken he's lacerated his tongue. He's unlikely to be standing in a fully upright position. He may be on all fours on the ground. He may be rolling around on his back, the places he was shot in the chest and neck indicate there was some motion that happening at the time he was shot, which is, consistent with if I'm coming in the door and I'm going to shoot, Calvin has he's exiting his door.
There's some movement there. if you look at the other shots that were fired with the 22 user, very tight groupings. So. it's likely that Calvin was upright at the time he was shot and moving versus having already been beaten down prone on the ground the killer shot him, you know, basically five times in the neck and chest, while he was laying prone.
and he certainly couldn't have been on all fours, at that time. I very rarely, I think I've seen it on one murder case where there was a shooting of what would be a fatal shooting followed by a severe beating with, you know, hands feet or a blunt object.
And I guess that would also be that kind of overkill in that situation would. Lean towards it being, uh, there was some kind of relationship between the two people. It wouldn't be a stranger generally that would go that far to, to kill and then beat somebody. Right. This would be determined. Uh, I mean, this is, this is definitely overkill situation where, I mean, think about it.
You've just shot a guy five times. you know, he's gonna die and you're going to continually beat him about that in face. That's somebody who's angry. That's not a stranger kind of, we just encountered somebody while doing a burglary. This is very angry.
As I'm writing this based on what the evidence says, I'm thinking what could be happening, what could be the thought process for the killer in this moment? And I think, I think it's pretty. So coming up in part two, we'll present the defense's side of things and then discuss how it all comes together.
So stay tuned.
Mark: One of my jobs as a police Sergeant was to address incoming complaints. It was surprising to me how many of those were based on our lack of communication or explanation of what we were doing or what our role in law enforcement really is. So over time, I began to see the value of complaints as not only addressing when we may have done something wrong, but as an opportunity to clarify where there was misunderstanding. Likewise, in this program, I want to provide insight and perspective as to what police officers and investigators do and why.
So with that in mind, if you have a question about police procedure, that you want me to talk about, or I have an interesting case you'd like me to cover. Please email me.
Marcy: Thank you for listening to us. If you haven't already please subscribe. So you don't miss an episode and recommend us to your friends. You can email us at email@example.com and check out our website at crime raven.com. Crime Raven with Mark Rein and Marcy Rein is also produced by us and Ethan Rein and is a 3 little birds LLC production.