Homewood pastor Richard Shahan appears in court; waives prelim h - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Homewood pastor Richard Shahan appears in court; waives prelim hearing in wife's murder case

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BIRMINGHAM, AL - Richard Shahan is back home tonight after a very quick appearance in court this afternoon.

Shahan and his attorneys appeared before Jefferson County Judge Shellie Watkins. Right off they announced their decision to waive the hearing.

Shahan, the former children's minister at First Baptist Church Birmingham, is charged with murder in the death of his wife Karen.

Investigators say Shahan stabbed his wife to death in their home on Hugh Circle in Homewood in July of last year.

Today's preliminary hearing would have determined if there is enough evidence to support this claim.

Shahan's attorney, John Lentine says they decided to waive the preliminary hearing because they felt this case would move forward no matter what evidence was presented today.

"It was our understanding that regardless of what happened here today the state of Alabama is going to place this case on a grand jury. So regardless of whether probable cause was found of if it's not found the case would  be presented to a grand jury. So we felt under the circumstances there was no need for a preliminary hearing," said Lentine.

In court this afternoon, Shahan was joined by Ken Phillips, the pastor of Oak Mountain Baptist Church in Pelham. Shahan became a member of the church after his resignation from First Baptist Church Birmingham.

In a statement, Phillips had this to say about his friend:

"He's in good spirits. We love him, support him and we're praying for him. In the end, God will be glorified."

Now this case goes to a Jefferson County grand jury. From there, the grand jury will decide if the case against Richard Shahan goes to trial. Meanwhile, Shahan remains out of jail on $100,000 bond.

RELATED COVERAGE:
Shahan in court for preliminary hearing Feb. 5, 2014
Prosecutors: Homewood pastor Richard Shahan was flying to Europe to marry boyfriend Jan. 16, 2014
Preliminary hearing set for former Homewood pastor charged with murder Jan. 14, 2014
Richard Shahan asks for $30,000 bond on murder charge Jan. 10, 2014
Former Homewood pastor Richard Shahan appears before Jefferson County Judge Jan. 9, 2014
Former Homewood pastor suspected in wife's murder is back in Jefferson County Jan. 8, 2014
Homewood pastor Shahan won't fight extradition in wife's murder Jan. 7, 2014
ATTORNEY: Homewood pastor would have turned himself in Jan. 3, 2014
Former Homewood minister charged in wife's murder, arrested trying to flee countryJan. 2, 2014
Update: Local minister released from jail after being questioned for wife's murder Aug. 9, 2013
Pastor held after questioning in his wife's death Aug. 8, 2013
Visitation for Homewood pastor's wife found dead today July 27, 2013
Homewood homicide investigated Tuesday; victim identified July 24, 2013
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