Opening Statements In The Trial Of Clay Starbuck - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Opening Statements In The Trial Of Clay Starbuck

Posted: Updated:
Clay Starbuck Clay Starbuck

SPOKANE, Wash. Opening statements began Thursday in the trial of Clay Starbuck, who is accused of murdering his ex-wife and sexually violating human remains. Chanin Starbuck was found dead in her deer park home in December of 2011. Not long after the murder deputies arrested her ex-husband Clay and said he was the man responsible for the crime. 

The state made their opening statements first and they said that the DNA showed it could have only been one of three people: Clay Starbuck or two of his kids. The kids were at work and school. 

The defense talked about Clay as a family man and said that he was a devoted father who spoke with Chanin only in the interest of their children. Clay Starbuck called Crime Check out of concern for Chanin and he consoled the kids about the loss of their mother.

The defense claimed Clay voluntarily offered all of his information including cell phone records and DNA because they claim Clay had nothing to hide. 

KHQ Local News will be in the courtroom for the duration of this trial.

PREVIOUS STORY:

DEER PARK, Wash – The trial for Clay Starbuck, 48, is now underway at the Spokane County Courthouse, beginning with jury selection.

Starbuck is charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the December 2011 death of his ex-wife, Chanin Starbuck, at her Deer Park home, and sexually violating her remains.

Monday, KHQ learned the defense plans to call Chanin's own mother as a witness in the case, meaning she can not sit in on the proceedings against her own daughter's accused killer.  As a result, she was not able to comment to KHQ Monday.

This case began back in late 2011, when Chanin Starbuck's out-of-town relatives reported to police they hadn't heard from her in a while, her phone was off, and they were concerned about potential domestic violence involving her ex-husband, Clay.

Chanin had filed four police reports with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office in the months before her death, concerned that Clay Starbuck had been entering her home and stealing property without her knowledge.

Through the course of the investigation, police began to believe Starbuck planned to kill his ex-wife, asked her to take their kids to school on the morning of December 1, 2011, then came into her home while she was away, hid, and attacked her upon her return.

Chanin Starbuck was found strangled on a bed, and police believe her body was positioned after her death so as to humiliate her.

In court Monday, a family friend told KHQ his wife was a supervisor in the dental program at Spokane Community College, which Chanin Starbuck had just graduated from a few months before her death.  Chanin reportedly told her, "Clay's going to kill me."

Monday, Clay Starbuck's defense attorney, Derek Reid, stood by the innocence of his client, telling KHQ, "I can't believe they arrested the wrong man."

Opening arguments are expected to begin later this week, and the trial is expected to last a month.

  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Progress being made on power outages

    Progress being made on power outages

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:36 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:36:01 GMT
    As of 11:00am Friday, there are just less than 15,000 customers without power in the Inland Northwest. There are still more than 6,125 Avista customers without power but Avista says reinforcement crews continue to arrive to help relieve and assist other crews who have been working around the clock. >>>SEE LATEST OUTAGE UPDATES>>>More >>
    As of 11:00am Friday, there are just less than 15,000 customers without power in the Inland Northwest. There are still more than 6,125 Avista customers without power but Avista says reinforcement crews continue to arrive to help relieve and assist other crews who have been working around the clock. >>>SEE LATEST OUTAGE UPDATES>>>More >>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.More >>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.More >>
  • Leadership Spokane appoints Col. Newberry Executive Director

    Leadership Spokane appoints Col. Newberry Executive Director

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:14:22 GMT
    Colonel Brian Newberry was announced today by the Leadership Spokane Board of Trustees as the new Executive Director.Newberry begins his new position on August 1st and is taking over for Linda Finney who retired at the end of June. Colonel Brian M. Newberry was the Commander, 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.More >>
    Colonel Brian Newberry was announced today by the Leadership Spokane Board of Trustees as the new Executive Director.Newberry begins his new position on August 1st and is taking over for Linda Finney who retired at the end of June. Colonel Brian M. Newberry was the Commander, 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.