PEMBROKE, KY (WSMV) - A massive break in a nearly four-year-old cold case has a small Kentucky community reeling, but possibly no one more than the accused murderer’s former stepson.

Kit Martin was charged in the 2015 murders of his three neighbors. Neighbors who Martin’s ex-wife claimed were trying to help her family flee an abusive situation.

“I always have flashbacks and memories of everything that he's done,” Justin Harmon said.

It’s been nearly four years since his neighbors were found dead on their quiet street, sparking a murder mystery that rocked this small town.

Kit Martin now sits behind bars, charged in the killings. His name is one some people in the community are still shocked to hear linked to a triple homicide.

“He would hide behind a mask out in public, in front of everybody, and act like he was this great major in the military,” Harmon said.

Harmon lived with him for eight years. Martin was his stepfather.

“Behind closed doors he was very evil. He was a tyrant, he was a monster. All of the above,” Harmon said.

Shortly after the murders, Martin served six months in a military prison for simple assault of a minor. The teenager in question was Harmon.

“I was the one he targeted the most,” he said. “Beat me all the time. Smack me around, punch me, whatever.”

Martin’s conviction was directly linked to what Cal Phillips gave investigators. Harmon said he can remember a time when Phillips, one of Martin’s alleged victims, witnessed the abuse.

“I was out mowing the lawn one day and I made the line a little too crooked, and he started smacking me around for it and told me I was doing it wrong,” Harmon explained. “And then Cal came over and took me out of there.”

Harmon said he, his mother, and his sisters left Martin immediately after the murders took place, and that they never doubted who was behind them.

“I believe that he took out the witnesses,” he said. “I hope that he gets the worst punishment that’s available to him.”

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Rebecca Cardenas is a Murrow-award winning journalist who joined News4 as a reporter in September 2017. She currently covers the court systems in Middle Tennessee.

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