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Pastor Tries To Leave Country, Accused Of Wife’s Murder

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A former Alabama pastor has been charged with murdering his wife and is now in custody after attempting to leave the country for England, where officials say he planned to marry his boyfriend.

Richard Lee Shahan was taken into custody last summer after his wife was found stabbed to death, but police said it was for “investigative purposes” and didn’t hold him. While he claimed he was out of town visiting family when the murder occurred, authorities found evidence from emails that he planned to leave the country for good and settle in the U.K. He was arrested at the airport on January 1.

“He planned to become a citizen there and begin a new life with his boyfriend… who he intended to marry,” Deputy Jefferson County District Attorney Leigh 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.”

Shahan’s attorneys say that the trip includes a mission trip, which he had been planning for some time, but authorities say they have significant evidence that points to a motive for Karen Shahan’s murder.

“Our client had made plans to go on a mission trip,” Shahan’s attorney, Wendell Sheffield, told the judge. “(Prosecutors) are wanting you to overlook the fact that he had told everyone of his plans.”

Shahan is currently being held on $100,000 bond and, if released, will have to wear an electronic monitoring device while on house arrest.

Image via Thinkstock

Pastor Tries To Leave Country, Accused Of Wife’s Murder
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  • Who are they kidding?

    Police are often wrong. And District Attorneys are the worst. They will force a plea or convict an innocent person in a heart beat. This man told a lot of people he was leaving. It wasn’t like he was trying to pull a quick getaway.

    We put way too much faith in detectives and prosecutors — especially in small towns. Some of the dumbest people go into law enforcement and then get promoted to positions of authority. TV makes it sound like all the people investigating cases are super smart and thorough. TV and real life is totally different. I personally know of a detective who got hired as a deputy with no experience and due to personal connections he became a detective in less than two years. The man had no training or experience. He then promptly made a lot of mistakes and sent a lot of innocent people to prison because once you get in the court system, the DA will just intimidate you and force you to plea guilty.

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