COURT WATCH: Clay Starbuck Murder Trial Entering Third Week - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

COURT WATCH: Clay Starbuck Murder Trial Entering Third Week

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash. – The trial of Clay Starbuck, charged with killing his ex-wife Chanin and sexually violating her remains, entered its third week Monday at the Spokane County Courthouse.

Chanin Starbuck was found strangled to death in her Deer Park home in December of 2011, and Clay Starbuck was arrested for her murder two months later. The couple was recently divorced at the time, and have five children.

Prosecutors are still calling witnesses, and Monday several forensic specialists and detectives testified who were at the crime scene and processed evidence.

They focused on fingerprints Monday morning, including how they're collected, and the factors that affect whether a usable print may be left behind. 

Fingerprints were taken off several items in Chanin's bedroom where she was found, including a personal massager, camera packaging and a notebook. Those prints then go into a database called the Automated Fingerprint Identification System to find a match. In Washington State, forensics specialists testified there are two million possible matches.

However, it's whom the fingerprints didn't match that drew attention in court.

"The 12 fingerprints taken from the scene, did they match Mr. Starbuck?" defense lawyer Derek Reid asked. "No, they did not," Forensic Specialist Lori Prueninger testified.

However, another forensic specialist testified that a fingerprint isn't always left behind when a person touches something. Several factors are at play – the surface touched, the environment, the subject's hands – and of course, whether they are wearing gloves.

Also in court Monday morning, lawyers on both sides spoke with a juror in the case, who said she'd seen a member of the Starbuck family at church. Nothing was said between the two, and lawyers did not find any reason to dismiss her.

The state is expected to continue calling witnesses through Tuesday. The defense is expected to begin its case on Wednesday by calling two witnesses who are expected to testify they saw Clay Starbuck's car on North High Desert Drive the day of Chanin's murder.

  • 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.