Alabama Pastor Arrested At Nashville Airport For Wife's Murder - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Alabama Pastor Arrested At Nashville Airport For Wife's Murder

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Richard Shahan (Metro Nashville Police Department) Richard Shahan (Metro Nashville Police Department)
Karen Shahan, age 52, was found stabbed to death in the couple's Homewood home on July 23, 2013. Karen Shahan, age 52, was found stabbed to death in the couple's Homewood home on July 23, 2013.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An Alabama pastor with ties to Middle Tennessee was arrested at the Nashville International Airport while trying to board a plane to Germany. He has been charged in connection with his wife's murder.

Richard Shahan, age 53, was arrested Wednesday at Nashville International Airport. Shahan had already checked his luggage and passed security, but never made it onto the plane. He was red flagged by the computer system and Homeland Security ICE Agents took him into custody.

A police affidavit from the Metro Nashville Police Department said he was flagged in the system after a "customs lookout" was placed on him in the event he tried to leave Alabama or the country.

Investigators from the Homewood Police Department in Alabama issued an arrest warrant on December 31, 2013, in connection with the murder of his wife, Karen Shahan. 

She was found murdered inside of their home in Birmingham on July 23, 2013. Richard Shahan was interviewed by police days after her murder, but was later released.

Investigators said Shahan was trying to flee the country to Russia by way of Germany.

Police in Homewood, Alabama discussed the case during a Thursday press conference.

"We alerted Homeland Security to the situation," said Chief Jim Roberson with the Homewood Police Department. "I think he (Shahan) was totally shocked when they pulled him out of line and detained him."

Roberson said Homewood police have been investigating the case for months. Karen Shahan, age 52, was found stabbed to death in the couple's Homewood home on July 23. The brutal crime shocked the normally quiet community.

"This is the exception for Homewood," said Scott McBrayer, Mayor of Homewood. "This certainly is not the norm for us to have murders in the city of Homewood."

Chief Roberson said recent developments in the case led the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office to obtain a murder warrant for Shahan's arrest.

"Certain inconsistencies, that is the best way to describe it, in his interviews kept leading us back to him," said Chief Roberson.

Richard Shahan was an associate pastor at the First Baptist Church of Birmingham, but resigned from the position on December 31.

Prior to moving to Alabama, the Shahan's lived in Franklin, Tennessee. Karen worked as a teacher at Franklin Classical School and Richard worked at Kimble Knight Ministries.

Shahan was being held in the Davidson County Jail without bond on a fugitive from justice charge. He will be extradited back to Alabama following a hearing on January 7.

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