"I tend to believe that he's innocent" - Pastor Charles T. Carter
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - First Baptist Church of Birmingham Interim Pastor Charles T. Carter said today that it's wrong to portray former Associate Pastor Richard Shahan as fleeing when he was arrested New Year's Day in Nashville on his way out of the country.
Carter, former president of the Alabama Baptist Convention, also said he believes Shahan may not be guilty of murder. Shahan has been charged with murder in connection with the July death of his wife, Karen Shahan. Mrs. Shahan was found murdered in their home, which was owned by First Baptist Church. Homewood Police, who investigated the killing, said Thursday that inconsistencies in interviews with Shahan led them to charge him with the crime
Source: 'I tend to believe that he's innocent' - First Baptist pastor defends ex-associate pastor charged with murder
Pastor Carter goes on to claim that he is unbiased, but then states his bias, "I've tried to remain neutral. I don't know all the facts that the authorities know, but I tend to believe that he's innocent." How does one claim to remain neutral but hold a position of innocence? I think that’s the definition of cognitive dissonance.
I am biased, but I will state that I do not hold an opinion on this case. The evidence presented so far in the media is thin. The prosecution have not released a theory of the crime. My bias tells me to not trust the words of a Baptist preacher when confronted with a scandal because they tend to protect the church and anyone associated with it.
As for the Carter’s assertion that pastor Shahan was not fleeing the country at the time of his arrest. I use the reasonable person test. Would a reasonable person leave the country for an extended assignment when his wife’s murder is still fresh and unresolved? I think not, so my assessment is that pastor Shahan was indeed fleeing the country. A reasonable person would stay and assist the investigation in any way while helping his family and community heal from the tragedy.