The evidence that prosecutors say links Christian “Kit” Martin to the murder scene of three of his former neighbors was called “smoke and mirrors” by the former American Airlines pilot’s defense team.

Nearly six years after the murders of Calvin and Pam Phillips and their neighbor, Ed Dansereau in Pembroke, KY, Martin’s trial has reached such national attention that Court TV is broadcasting ever moment.

News4 Investigates first uncovered details that link Martin to the victims, including the fact that Calvin Phillips was murdered two weeks before he was set to testify in Martin’s court martial.

In a pre-trial hearing Thursday morning, the former lead detective on the case testified that he spoke with a friend of Pam Phillips, who said Pam feared her neighbor across the street.

“(Pam said) they would not be going to Thanksgiving that year because they were afraid that Mr. Martin would do something to the house or be waiting in the house to kill them whenever they returned from their trip to Michigan,” said Lt. Scott Smith.

It was at the Phillips home that prosecutors said they found evidence linking Martin to the murders.

Diana Phillips, Cal Philllips’ sister, testified that she and the Phillips’ son, Matt, were cleaning up the property after the murder scene was cleared by police.

Diana Phillips said that not only were they cleaning up, but that they were also looking for any evidence.

Diana Phillips testified that, to her surprise, she found something underneath debris on the Phillips’ back porch.

She testified that Matt recognized it to be a shell casing.

Prosecutors said a longtime firearms expert determined that the shell casing matched a Glock 45 found in a safe in Martin’s home.

Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley suggested that Martin didn’t find it as he cleaned up the crime scene.

“That's the one piece of evidence that he didn't get that was left behind,” Whaley said.

But Tom Griffiths, Martin’s defense attorney, said the bullet fragments found in the bodies didn’t match the gun in the safe.

“The shell casing is the smoke and mirrors. What matters are the actual bullets - the projectiles that struck these poor people. And those don't match the gun,” said Griffiths.

Diana Phillips also testified that she found dog tags on a shelf in the foyer of the front room of her brother’s house.

Thinking it was her brother’s dog tags from his time in the military, she showed it to Matt, who pointed out that it instead belonged to Kit Martin.

Whaley suggested that perhaps Martin took it off while he was busy cleaning up the crime scene.

But Griffiths said those tags could have very well been placed there by Joan Harmon, Martin’s ex-wife who was friends with the Phillips, who frequently was at the house.

The trial continues Friday.

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Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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