- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A Birmingham-area pastor says he is innocent of a murder charge in the death of his wife.

WBRC-TV (https://bit.ly/1uRgxDy ) reports that Richard Shahan pleaded not guilty Monday in the death his 52-year-old Karen Shahan.

The woman was found dead in their house in Homewood in July 2013. Shahan worked as a minister to children and families at First Baptist Church of Birmingham at the time.

Prosecutors believe Shahan killed his wife so he could flee the country and start a new life with his boyfriend in Europe.

Shahan’s attorneys say he was leaving the country for a three-year mission trip when he was arrested at the Nashville International Airport on New Year’s Eve 2013.

He was carrying $27,000 in various currencies at the time of his arrest.

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