Pastor prayed God would kill his wife
A Baptist preacher from Homewood, Alabama, told two of his male lovers that he was praying and waiting for the death of his wife months before her murder.
According to this report, Richard Shahan, above, was arrested in January 2014 for the murder of his wife, Karen Shahan, as he attempted to board a plane bound for Germany, where he claimed he would be working with the Children’s Ministry of Bible Mission International.
Before she was killed in July 2013, Karen Shahan sent an email saying she knew of her husband’s sexual preferences and his attempts to carry on surreptitious romantic relationships with two men outside of Alabama, according to prosecutors.
Shahan, formerly a pastor in Homewood, was charged last January in connection with his wife’s murder. This week he appeared before Jefferson County Circuit Judge Laura Petro for a pretrial hearing.
According to the prosecution’s filing, in an email sent to an unidentified recipient in February 2012, Karen Shahan wrote that she told Richard that he had to choose between the two lives he was trying to maintain.
Prosecutors said that email and text message conversations between Richard Shahan and his two “paramours” included explicit sexual statements, as well as a reference to Karen’s death:
I’m in a legal marriage contract [sic]. There is not an acceptable way for me to dissolve that and continue with the things that are important to me (my job and children) …
There is only one way I could become legally ‘single’ and I have to wait until God grants me that gift. It will come; the woman I live with is slowly killing herself – she is diabetic and refuses to take care of herself physically. Her mother died early with the same disease and did the same thing to her body. So I pray and wait. It will happen in God’s timing.
Shahan also wrote emails noting that, because of his job, his sexual preference had to be kept secret and he could not get divorced. In a November 2011 message to his European paramour, Shahan mentions his hopes for the future.
Richard Shahan was jailed for “investigative purposes” in August 2013, but was released without being charged. Shortly after his release, the pastor took paid administrative leave from his post as Children and Families Pastor and the Facilities Director at First Baptist, and he resigned on December 31, 2013.
He was arrested on January 1, 2014, at a Nashville airport while trying to board a plane to Germany. He was extradited and returned to the custody of Jefferson County authorities.
At a preliminary hearing in January 2014, prosecutors said that information from more than 3,000 of Shahan’s emails indicated that he planned to leave the country to get married in Europe.