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>>

  • SPECIAL ELECTIONS RESULTS

    SPECIAL ELECTIONS RESULTS

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:02 AM EDT2014-04-23 05:02:05 GMT
    KHQ.COM- A special election was held on Tuesday with various items on the ballot, including library funding in Spokane Valley.More >>
    KHQ.COM- A special election was held on Tuesday with various items on the ballot, including library funding in Spokane Valley. Voters approved a measure to create a library capital facilities district, but rejected a bond to pay for two libraries and renovate an existing library. The bond requires a 60% super majority to pass.More >>
  • HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD? Authorities Say Missing Burien Teen May Be In Spokane Area

    HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD? Authorities Say Missing Burien Teen May Be In Spokane Area

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:11:42 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- The King County Sheriff's Office and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children believe that a missing 15-year-old boy may be in the Spokane area. More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- The King County Sheriff's Office and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children believe that a missing 15-year-old boy may be in the Spokane area. Authorities say 15-year-old Jacob Hays of Burien was last seen on April 3, 2014. He is white with brown hair and brown eyes. He's 5'10" and weighs 160 pounds. More >>
  • PHOTOS: KHQ Covers The President In Oso

    PHOTOS: KHQ Covers The President In Oso

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:54:29 GMT
    KHQ.COM - President Obama visited Oso one month after the deadly mudslide that so far has killed 41 people.More >>
    KHQ.COM - President Obama visited Oso one month after the deadly mudslide that so far has killed 41 people. KHQ's Kelsey Watts was in Everett where the President landed and KHQ's Sean Owsley was in Oso during the President's visit. They tweeted out, along with our field producer Josh, a lot of pictures during their coverage, and you can see them all in the slideshow attached to this story.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.