By Bob Allen
An Alabama Baptist pastor will not fight extradition back to Alabama to face murder charges in connection to the stabbing death of his wife last summer.
Richard Shahan, who resigned Dec. 31 as children and families pastor and facilities director at First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., waived his right Jan. 7 to an extradition hearing in front of Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton of Davidson County General Sessions Court in Nashville, Tenn., according to ABC affiliate WKRN-TV.
Authorities in Jefferson County, Ala., now have 10 days to come get Shahan and return him to Alabama.
Shahan, 53, was arrested on New Year’s Day at Nashville International Airport as he tried to board a flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Police say he was trying to flee arrest for the July 23 murder of his wife, Karen Shahan, 52, who was stabbed to death in the couple’s rented home not far from First Baptist Church.
Shahan’s lawyers say he did not know that authorities in Alabama had the day before issued a warrant for his arrest when Homeland Security officers pulled him out of line after an airport computer system flagged his passport as a flight risk. He has spent the last six nights in custody of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department without bond and charged as a fugitive from justice without warrant.
Shahan, placed on administrative leave at First Baptist Church shortly after his wife’s death, recently announced his resignation from the church to begin an overseas mission assignment with Bible Mission International, working primarily in Kazakhstan.