Pastor Arrested For Allegedly Attacking Family With Knife

Police in Shawnee, Kansas, have revealed that a youth pastor there tried to murder his wife and children before trying to set the house on fire.

In connection with the events of September 16, 41-year-old Matthew Richards has been charged with five charges of attempted premeditated first-degree murder plus an act of aggravated arson with danger of bodily damage.

The Shawnee Police Department said in a news statement that the man’s wife and five children (one adult and four minors) all had laceration wounds of varied degrees.

Early on September 16th, police and firemen in Shawnee replied to calls of an incident and fire at the pastor’s residence.

Firefighters doused a flame that broke out in the basement of the home. All five wounded persons, including Richards, were taken to the hospital by the authorities.

Police reported on the 16th that Richards’ spouse and two of the kids were still in the hospital. According to the report, a 19-year-old and two minors were taken to the hospital and later discharged.

Richards’ profile on the Crossroads Christian Church website reads that he is a big kid who loves to teach little kids about Jesus.

Senior Pastor Kurt Witten released a statement on behalf of Crossroads Church on September 16 in reaction to the event, indicating that church leaders were informed of the situation and were still collecting information. Due to the continuing nature of the inquiry, they asked that people treat the matter with the utmost sensitivity. Witten pleaded for readers to join him in praying for the Richards family.

Richards’ picture and profile were no longer included on the website for Christ Preparatory Academy in Lenexa, where he had been listed as an English instructor.
A previous version of his staff profile said that he began teaching English in 2020. Three of his children are current students, and one just graduated.

The bail for Richards is $5 million. The 29th of September at 11 a.m. was set as his next court date.