Baptist Preacher Arrested For Wife's Murder

Richard Shahan was arrested when he tried to board a flight to Germany.

January 05, 2014, 9:41 AM

Jan. 5, 2014— -- A Baptist preacher has been arrested for his wife's murder after he attempted to board a plane to Germany.

Richard Shahan, of Homewood, Ala., was arrested on New Year's day after customs officials had been instructed to be on the look out for his passport. He was wanted out of Jefferson County, Ala. for homicide, according to an arrest affidavit.

"Once he got over to Germany or Russia, the chances of extraditing him are pretty nil," Homewood Police Chief Jim Roberson told reporters. "We can't get Snowden back, probably wouldn't get him back either."

Shahan was flying out of the Nashville airport when he was stopped by police. He will make his first court appearance at an extradition hearing on Tuesday.

"I think he was totally shocked when they pulled him out of line and detained him," said Roberson.

Shahan's wife Karan was found stabbed to death in their home on July 23. After the murder Shahan was taken into "investigative" custody for 48 hours and questioned by police but never charged.

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His lawyers say the accusation that he was trying to flee the country is unfounded.

Wendell Sheffield, Richard Shahan's attorney, said that Shahan had been public about the planned trip for weeks.

"All that would have had to been done is to tell us that there's a warrant," said Sheffield. "We would have turned him in. Heck, we would have turned his passport in."

The police have yet to officially charge Shahan with the murder of his wife. He is being held without bond.

According to a statement posted on the Facebook page for the First Church of Birmingham, Shahan stepped down from the church on December 31. According to the post, Shahan's flight to Germany was part of a planned trip to work abroad at a religious organization primarily in Kazakhstan.

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