Former Homewood minister charged in wife's murder, arrested tryi - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Former Homewood minister charged in wife's murder, arrested trying to flee country

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Richard Shahan Richard Shahan
NASHVILLE, TN - A former Homewood minister has been arrested in Nashville.

Richard Shahan was arrested while trying to board a flight from Nashville International Airport to Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday morning. An affidavit released says Shahan is a "fugitive from justice without warrant" and is wanted in Jefferson County, Alabama for homicide. It says Shahan was "red flagged" in the computer system and was arrested by Homeland Security agents.

The former minister was held as a suspect in the murder of his wife Karen Shahan back in August of 2013. The Homewood Police Department says they obtained a warrant for his arrest Dec. 31, the day before he was arrested. Authorities say his intent to leave the country sped up the process to get his arrest warrant, and Homewood Police Chief Jim Roberson said he looked "shocked" when he was detained, after he had checked his luggage and was heading through the gate with his ticket.

A statement on First Baptist Church of Birmingham's Facebook page said he had resigned from the church effective Dec. 31, 2013 and was heading overseas for another position. The statement read:

"All of us were saddened by the unexpected news that Richard Shahan was arrested by Homeland Security just moments before his planned flight departure for Frankfurt, Germany. There, he was to assume his new role working with the Children's ministry of Bible Mission International, primarily in Kazakhstan.

"As we know, on November 29 Richard announced his plans to pursue this mission ministry. His resignation from First Baptist Church of Birmingham was effective December 31, 2013.

Our Prayers go out to Richard and his family. We trust that eventually truth and justice can prevail."

Roberson said the motive for Shahan to kill his wife can't be discussed at this point, but Roberson said there were inconsistencies in Shahan's story that led back to him.

Shahan is being held at the Davidson County (Tenn.) Jail. If he doesn't fight extradition, Roberson said he'll be back in Alabama within a week to 10 days. He's scheduled for an extradition hearing Jan. 7.

Roberson said there are no other suspects in the case, and said he's confident they have the responsible party in custody.

"We hope this arrest will bring some closure to family of Karen Shahan," Roberson said, reiterating that Homewood remains a safe place to live and work.

Ashley Roberts is on the story and will have updates as additional information is confirmed. Stay tuned to Alabama's 13 and for the latest.

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