Sep 18, 2023

Kansas pastor accused of arson, violent attack on his family

Posted Sep 18, 2023 11:00 AM
Richards-photo Johnson Co.
Richards-photo Johnson Co.

JOHNSON COUNTY —Law enforcement authorities are investigating a Kansas church children's pastor in connection with a violent attack at his home.

Just before 4a.m. Saturday, police and fire crews were called to the 6600 block of Goode Drive for a report of a disturbance and a house fire, according to a media release from Shawnee Police. Firefighters found a fire in the basement of a home and quickly extinguished the fire.

EMS transported 7 people to area hospitals for treatment including one suspect.

Following an investigation by police, fire and the Johnson County Criminalistics lab, police arrested 41-year-old Matthew Richards on requested charges of attempted murder and aggravated arson with risk of bodily harm.

Richards is identified as the children's pastor at Crossroads Christian Church, 5855 Renner Road in Shawnee, Kansas, according to the church web site. He is the father and husband of the victims, according to police.

The victims sustained laceration injuries. One adult woman and two juveniles remained at area hospitals Sunday receiving treatment.  A 19-year-old and two other juveniles were released from the hospital late Saturday, according to police. 

Richards remains jailed on a $5 million bond. He is scheduled for a court appearance on Monday at 1:30p.m., according to online jail records.