Alabama pastor arrested in Nashville for wife’s murder

Alabama pastor arrested in Nashville for wife's murder (Image 1)

An Alabama pastor with Middle Tennessee ties is now facing a murder charge for the death of his wife over the summer.

Richard Shahan, 53, was arrested Wednesday night at Nashville International Airport after he tried to board a flight to Frankfurt, Germany.

According to police in Alabama, he was attempting to flee the country to Russia by way of Germany.

Shahan was flagged in the airport's computer system and arrested by homeland security agents.

He is being held in the Metro jail without bond on a fugitive from justice charge.

He will be extradited back to Alabama following a hearing on January 7.

Shahan's wife, 52-year-old Karen, was found stabbed to death in the family's Homewood, Alabama home on the morning of July 23 after she failed to show up for work.

The house was reportedly found in disarray with a window broken, and reports called her death “brutal.”

At the time of her death, Richard Shahan worked as the facilities director and children and families pastor at First Baptist Church in Birmingham.

He told police he was visiting his son in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky when his wife's body was discovered.

Shahan was questioned by police in early August, but released 48 hours later.

Following the death of his wife, Shahan expressed an interested in completing a three-year mission trip to Germany through Bible Mission International.  He said he believed his wife would have wanted him to continue his ministry.

However, because of the open investigation into his wife's death, detectives told him to stay put.

The police department in Homewood issued a warrant for his arrest on the murder charge on December 31.

Prior to beginning work at First Baptist Church in Birmingham in 2009, the Shahans lived in Franklin.

Richard Shahan worked for Kimble Knight Ministries in Brentwood, while Karen was employed part-time as a teacher at Franklin Classical School.

When reached by e-mail, Jeffrey Dokkestul, administrative principal at Franklin Classical School, told News 2, “Our desire is for justice to be served in the murder of Karen Shahan.”

The Shahans' two grown sons still live in the Middle Tennessee area.

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