Trial Underway For Deer Park Man Accused Of Killing Ex-Wife, Pos - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Trial Underway For Deer Park Man Accused Of Killing Ex-Wife, Positioning Body

Posted: Updated:

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.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex fire

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex fire

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:29 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:29:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Photographer, Sy Stepanov gave us permission to share these devastating photos of the destruction caused by the Carlton Complex fire. This fire has burned over 250,000 acres becoming the largest wildfire in Washington state history. According to the Okanogan County Sheriff the number of homes destroyed by the fire is estimated to be 300 since the fire started on July 14th.>>
    KHQ.COM - Photographer, Sy Stepanov gave us permission to share these devastating photos of the destruction caused by the Carlton Complex fire. This fire has burned over 250,000 acres becoming the largest wildfire in Washington state history. According to the Okanogan County Sheriff the number of homes destroyed by the fire is estimated to be 300 since the fire started on July 14th.>>
  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:46:53 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
  • Boil-water advisories issued in several eastern Washington areas after storms

    Boil-water advisories issued in several eastern Washington areas after storms

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:45 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:45:06 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Health believes some local water systems are at risk after severe storms moved through the area on Wednesday and they have issued some boil-water advisories. >>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Health believes some local water systems are at risk after severe storms moved through the area on Wednesday and they have issued some boil-water advisories. In Spokane and Pend Oreille counties, several water systems are under boil-water advisories:·>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • 50 children from Mexican border taken to Oregon; 211 in Washington

    50 children from Mexican border taken to Oregon; 211 in Washington

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:34:20 GMT
    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Federal officials say 50 immigrant children are being relocated from the Mexican border to Oregon, and Gov. John Kitzhaber says they are welcome. Kitzhaber says the state will continue to welcome children fleeing hardship and violence while waiting for Congress to change immigration policies.>>
    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Federal officials say 50 immigrant children are being relocated from the Mexican border to Oregon, and Gov. John Kitzhaber says they are welcome. Kitzhaber says the state will continue to welcome children fleeing hardship and violence while waiting for Congress to change immigration policies.
    >>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex fire

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex fire

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:29 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:29:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Photographer, Sy Stepanov gave us permission to share these devastating photos of the destruction caused by the Carlton Complex fire. This fire has burned over 250,000 acres becoming the largest wildfire in Washington state history. According to the Okanogan County Sheriff the number of homes destroyed by the fire is estimated to be 300 since the fire started on July 14th.>>
    KHQ.COM - Photographer, Sy Stepanov gave us permission to share these devastating photos of the destruction caused by the Carlton Complex fire. This fire has burned over 250,000 acres becoming the largest wildfire in Washington state history. According to the Okanogan County Sheriff the number of homes destroyed by the fire is estimated to be 300 since the fire started on July 14th.>>
  • KHQ Special: 'Behind the Fire Lines' airing Sunday at 6pm

    KHQ Special: 'Behind the Fire Lines' airing Sunday at 6pm

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:25 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:25:03 GMT
    KHQ.COM - For over a week, we've heard hundreds of heartbreaking stories from people who have lost everything, to those who refuse to let the firestorm break their spirits. From communities rallying together, to the heroes on the front lines. Join us for an hour long special, "Beyond the Fire Lines," airing this Sunday at 6pm on KHQ.>>
    KHQ.COM - For over a week, we've heard hundreds of heartbreaking stories from people who have lost everything, to those who refuse to let the firestorm break their spirits. From communities rallying together, to the heroes on the front lines. Join us for an hour long special, "Beyond the Fire Lines," airing this Sunday at 6pm on KHQ.
    >>