Baptist Pastor Charged With Murdering Wife So He Could Marry Boyfriend In Europe

A former Southern Baptist pastor accused of murdering his wife so he could marry his boyfriend in Europe has plead not guilty.

Richard Shahan, 54, was arrested last January as he attempted to board a plane bound for Germany.

AL.com adds:

[Deputy District Attorney Leigh] Gwathney said that information obtained from more than 3,000 of Shahan’s emails indicated that he was planning to leave the country and never return. He was heading to Kazakhstan via Germany and ultimately planned to move to the United Kingdom, she said.

“He planned to become a citizen there and begin a new life with his boyfriend… who he intended to marry,” Gwathney said. “He had no intention of ever returning to the United States. He had no home to return to and he had said his goodbyes to his family.”

The body of Shahan’s wife, Karen Louise Shahan’s body was discovered about 11:15 a.m. July 23 inside the couple’s Hugh Circle home in Homewood stabbed to death, according to an affidavit.

At the time of her death, Shahan was an associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Birmingham, located in Homewood.

Shahan was first jailed for “investigative purposes” in August 2013, but was released without being charged. Shortly after his release, the pastor took paid administrative leave from his post as Children and Families Pastor and the Facilities Director at First Baptist. He resigned from his position at the church Dec. 31. In December, several newsletters and prayer cards indicated that Shahan was planning a three-year mission trip with Bible Mission International in Frankfurt.