AP, DailyNY

Prosecutors said Rev. Richard Shahan attempted to flee to Europe to marry his boyfriend.

The Alabama pastor who is accused of stabbing his wife to death allegedly had a replacement in mind.

Jefferson County prosecutors say Rev. Richard Lee Shahan attempted to flee the country on New Year’s Day and marry his boyfriend.

Shahan was cornered by Homeland Security as he tried to board a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, from a Nashville airport. He was reportedly making his way to Kazakhstan via Germany and had plans to eventually settle down in the United Kingdom.

Reverend Richard Shanan of Homewood, Alabama, has been charged with the murder of his wife. Shahan was arrested while attempting to board a plane in Nashville for Germany on January 1, 2014.
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Reverend Richard Shanan of Homewood, Alabama, has been charged with the murder of his wife. Shahan was arrested while attempting to board a plane in Nashville for Germany on January 1, 2014.

“He planned to become a citizen there and begin a new life with his boyfriend… who he intended to marry,” prosecutor Leigh Gwathney  told AL.com.”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.”

At the time of his arrest, Shahan was in possession of $27,000 in dollars, pounds, euros, and Kazakhstani currency.

But the 53-year-old minister’s lawyers deny claims that their client was a “fugitive from justice.” Defense attorney John Lentine said that Shahan had been planning a three-year-mission trip to Frankfurt to work with Bible Mission International.

Karen Louise Shahan was found slain in her Homewood, Alabama, home on July 23, 2013.
Facebook Karen Louise Shahan was found slain in her Homewood, Alabama, home on July 23, 2013.

“[Prosecutors] are wanting you to overlook the fact that he had told everyone of his plans,” Letine said.”They are doing everything they can to try to manufacture a murder case.”

Shahan was placed on paid administrative leave from Birmingham’s First Baptist Church immediately after the brutal murder of his wife, Karen Louise Shahan. The woman was found stabbed to death in the couple’s Homewood, Ala., house on July 23.

Bond for the former Homewood pastor is set at $100,000.
alabamas13.com
Bond for the former Homewood pastor is set at $100,000.

The pastor insists that he was out of town and visiting one of his sons when the killing occurred.

Shahan was questioned by police immediately after the murder, then released without being charged. On Dec. 31, police had accumulated enough information to issue an arrest warrant.

But by that time, Shahan had already made plans to move overseas. Even though he was sacked from his job as a children’s pastor, Shahan told friends he believes his wife would have wanted him to continue his ministry.

In early December, ABC 33/40 obtained newsletters and prayer cards that suggested Shahan intended to move to Europe to do mission work, including developing a Bible curriculum for Russian-speaking children. He also asked for financial support for his endeavors.

Shahan has been held in the Jefferson County jail since his arrest on Jan. 1. District Judge Sheldon Watkins placed his bond at $100,000. A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 5

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