Judge rules on series of motions during former minister Shahan’s pretrial hearing

Richard Shahan (left) is accused of killing his wife, Karen (right), in July 2013. Source: Jefferson County Sheriff's office and WBRC video clip.

Richard Shahan (left) is accused killing his wife, Karen (right), in July 2013. Source: Jefferson County Sheriff’s office and WBRC video clip.

BIRMINGHAM (TAB) – During a pretrial hearing Aug. 19 in Birmingham, Judge Laura Petro ruled on several motions that have been filed in recent weeks in relation to Richard Shahan.

Shahan, former children and families pastor at First Baptist Church, Birmingham, is accused of the murder of his wife, Karen Louise Shahan, who was found dead in their home in Homewood on July 23, 2013.

Prior to the hearing, Shahan’s attorneys filed several motions Aug. 17. They asked for information on the potential jurors’ criminal history, access to the crime scene and for the “defendant, the defendant’s attorneys and/or his agents to view, inspect and photograph the scene of the incident,” among other things.

According to wvtm13.com, Petro granted a motion for prosecution to show the defense any PowerPoint presentation they plan to use in opening statements and set Nov. 6 as the deadline for prosecution to provide the list of experts they plan to call at trial 8 months from now.

The defense is arguing that Shahan did not kill his wife but that someone broke into their home and killed her. According to news sources, defense attorneys claim that a foot print on a broken door in the home, semen found on Karen Shahan’s body and records of other recent break-ins in the neighborhood have not yet been responded to by the State. Defense attorneys also claim that the two samples of semen were used up in testing, which prevented them from independently testing the samples.

As for the more than 3,000 emails found on Shahan’s computer, including messages that indicate he was going to flee the country to start a new life with another man, the defense is arguing that the emails are not relevant to the case because they are not “fact or proof” of murder.

Richard Shahan pleaded not guilty to the murder and is under house arrest at his mother’s home in Homewood. He also is required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

His trial is set for April 18, 2016.

The Alabama Baptist will continue to follow this case. For more background information, visit http://www.thealabamabaptist.org and search “Richard Shahan.”

About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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