Youth pastor accused of stabbing family, setting house on fire

Posted at 7:29 AM, September 18, 2023

By: Lily O’Shea Becker

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Scripps News Kansas City) — A Kansas youth pastor is charged with five counts of attempted murder after allegedly stabbing his family and setting their house on fire early Saturday morning in Shawnee.

matthew richards mugshot

This booking photo provided by the Johnson County Booking and Release Reports via Scripps News Kansas City shows Matthew Richards. (Johnson County Booking and Release Reports)

Matthew Lee Richards, 41, also faces one count of aggravated arson with risk of bodily harm, according to a spokesperson with the Shawnee Police Department.

First responders were dispatched to the home just before 4 a.m. on a report of a disturbance and house fire. Firefighters discovered a fire in the basement, which they quickly extinguished, according to news release.

The six victims suffered laceration injuries. Three were treated and released from the hospital that day.

Richards was also initially transported to a hospital for treatment.

Richards is being held on a $5 million bond, and his first court date is set for Monday, Sept. 18.

Richards is a children’s pastor at Crossroads Christian Church in Shawnee, according to a statement from the church.

According to investigators, there are no additional suspects at this time, although the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Kansas City, an E.W. Scripps Company.

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