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>>

  • SHRED DAY IS HERE!

    SHRED DAY IS HERE!

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 2:26 AM EDT2014-04-16 06:26:23 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Are you ready to SHRED? One of KHQ's most popular events is here: Shred Day!
    Once again we are partnering with AmericanWest Bank and Secure Shred, and it's your chance to safely dispose of any sensitive documents you might have hanging around the house.
    More >>
    KHQ.COM - Are you ready to SHRED? One of KHQ's most popular events is here: Shred Day!
    Once again we are partnering with AmericanWest Bank and Secure Shred, and it's your chance to safely dispose of any sensitive documents you might have hanging around the house. We have three locations available for you to choose from between the hours of 6:00am and 6:30pm.
    More >>
  • Armed Robbery At North Spokane McDonalds

    Armed Robbery At North Spokane McDonalds

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:44 AM EDT2014-04-16 05:44:42 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Deputies with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office responded to an armed robbery at the McDonald's on Monroe and Francis Monday night.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Deputies with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office responded to an armed robbery at the McDonald's on Monroe and Francis Monday night.More >>
  • Man Who Fired At Idaho State Police During Pursuit And Kidnapped Rathdrum Woman Sentenced

    Man Who Fired At Idaho State Police During Pursuit And Kidnapped Rathdrum Woman Sentenced

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:31:12 GMT
    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - A man arrested for a series of crimes that started in November 2012 in Spirit Lake will most likely be spending the rest of his life in prison. More >>
    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - A man arrested for a series of crimes that started in November 2012 in Spirit Lake will most likely be spending the rest of his life in prison. 58-year-old Mitchell Lee Walck plead guilty to charges of Robbery, Kidnapping, and Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer back in February. 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.