Alabama Pastor Allegedly Killed His Wife

The Baptist minister was arrested moments before boarding a flight out of the country.
3:00 | 01/06/14

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Transcript for Alabama Pastor Allegedly Killed His Wife
Why has she just checked herself into rehab. But first, a stunning murder case out of alabama. A minister nabbed by police on new year's day moments before trying to get out of the country. Reena ninan has the details. Reporter: Richard shan was an alabama-based baptist preacher with a devout following. This morning, he's accused of murdering his wife. Arrested new year's day trying to board a plane to germany. I think he was totally shocked when they -- pulled him out of line. And detained him. Reporter: He was nabbed after a customs official recognized his passport. But the pastor's lawyers said he was travels to germany and then russia to work for a children's ministry. Once he got the russia the chances of extraditing him were nil. Reporter: The pastor was held when his wife wz found dead but he was released. Inconsistent sis during questioning raised question's about shahan. He was not trying to flee anything. They did not inform us of the fact that there was a warrant pending. Reporter: The church put him on paid leave after his wives a murder. After his arrest released this statement. All of us were saddened by the e unexpected news that richard shahan was arrested by homeland security. His lawyer says he never hid his plans to travel, detailing his three-year mission trip in a letter and flyer. Richard has always maintained his innocence in this case. He's always wanted justice for his wife, family. Reporter: For "good morning america," reena ninan, abc news, new york. Let's bring in legal affairs anchor dan abrams. Happy new year. Thank you, same to you. The timing raises questions. The arrest warrant out on december 31st and he's trying to LEAVE THE COUNTRY JANUARY 1st. His defense is I had nong been planning to take this trip. It had been on the facebook parnlgs the website saying he was going to be taking a trip. The question is, was he going to be taking this trip on january 1 and then the authorities issued an arrest warrant on december 31st, OR WAS IT THE OPPOSITE. The authorities issued the arrest warrant and then lo and behold, january 1, he says, i gotta get out of here. His claim is he didn't know there was an arrest warrant out for him. There are a lot of questions here that have -- yet to be answered. And -- that's why they -- the police couldn't take chances and had to get to the airport. That's what they say. They say they had to do it immediately. He says, look , this was always the plan. The fact that he was arrested as the airport is important. They're holding him as a fugitive from justice. That means no bail or bond. He can't get out because he's a flight risk. His position is, this was never out of the ordinary. This was always part of the plan. And as a result, you know, they shouldn't be holding me this way. One of the key questions is, what happened since this summer? He was questioned this summer and released. Then an arrest warrant suddenly issued. I want to know more about exactly what changed between this summer and now. That doesn't seem like a high enough bar. There's still a lot of questions here.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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