COURT WATCH: The Clay Starbuck Trial; He's Accused Of Murdering - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Clay Starbuck On Trial; He's Accused Of Murdering His Ex-Wife

Posted: Updated:
Clay Starbuck Clay Starbuck
  • Also on KHQ.comMore>>

  • Opening Statements In The Trial Of Clay Starbuck

    Opening Statements In The Trial Of Clay Starbuck

    Thursday, May 9 2013 7:08 PM EDT2013-05-09 23:08:50 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. Opening statements began today in the trial of Clay Starbuck, who is accused of murdering his ex-wife and sexually violating human remains.
    >>
    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.>>
  • Starbuck Kids To Testify Against Locked Up Dad In Mom's Murder Trial

    Starbuck Kids To Testify Against Locked Up Dad In Mom's Murder Trial

    Friday, April 5 2013 8:56 PM EDT2013-04-06 00:56:02 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - It's been nearly a year and a half since the murder of Chanin Starbuck in her Deer Park home. >>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - It's been nearly a year and a half since the murder of Chanin Starbuck in her Deer Park home. After her murder, police arrested her ex-husband, Clay Starbuck, after finding evidence that pointed to him as her killer.>>
SPOKANE, Wash. - Clay Starbuck's murder trial is once again underway at the Spokane County Courthouse as the prosecution continues to call witnesses to the stand. The last of the Starbuck kids testified Wednesday morning, along with the Principal of Deer Park High School, and a manager from GSI Glass in Deer Park.

The Principal and GSI Glass Manager spoke to the location of Blake and Austin Starbuck on the days of the murder. Meredith Pearson also testified. She is a 5th grade teacher at Arcadia Elementary in Deer Park and at the time of the murder she was the teacher for one of the Starbuck boys.

On November 21st, just a few weeks before the murder, she had a parent teacher conference with Chanin and Clay Starbuck. Pearson said right after the conference Chanin went to the book fair while Clay stayed after to talk with her.

The teacher said Clay made a point to tell her about how he was concerned that Chanin was "sleeping around" and that the kids did not like her (Chanin). Then Pearson said that Clay Starbuck told her this:

"I wouldn't be surprised if we found her dead. I wouldn't be surprised if we found her with her throat slit open."

Pearson said she did not find it odd that Starbuck stayed after because she said sometimes divorces do not go well and parents want to address concerns they may have.

Chanin Starbuck was found murdered in her Deer Park home just two weeks after this parent teacher conference.

>>>CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW ALEX ON TWITTER

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Attridge now off the stand.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Renee Attridge a resident of Deer Park now taking the stand. She's commenting on texts she received from Clay on Chanin's sexual activity

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Dr. Bates said that he put a keystroke device on her computer so he could monitor all of her transactions and emails.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Dr. Bates testified that all of this was spontaneous and he did not ask for Clay to tell him this. Dr. Bates says he found it surprising.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Dr. Bates, a dentist, now takes the stand. He spoke with Clay in April of 2011 and Clay told him about Chanin's dating.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Murder suspect Clay Starbuck walked out of court for the afternoon recess. 10-15 minutes

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Defense ends questioning, cross done as well. No re-cross. Kenlein steps off the stand in time for 10-15 minute afternoon break.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Kenlein acknowledges he went to Chanin's house at least four times on December 1st, 2011, the believed day of the murder

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Kenlein figured his late night meeting w/ Chanin was going to work out, but just a few days later he learned why it didn't happen.
 

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Exchange becoming tense between defense and Kenlein as they continue to talk about his communication with murder victim Chanin Starbuck

 TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: crazy case. Dateline and 48 hours are sitting right next to me.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Kenlein said that he had no intention that this would ever become a public relationship.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: The state ends their questioning. The defense now questioning Kenlein. Kenlein again describes time w/ Chanin as "sexual relationship"

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: No one was home the 2nd time he went back so then he eventually went back to Spokane after checking the perimeter of her home

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: When he went to the pay phone no one picked up Chanin's phone so he went back to her house as he did earlier in the day.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: When he arrived at the home not a lot had changed. No response. So he left and went to a pay phone, again.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Later that night at approximately 9:45 PM he went to try to meet with Chanin as agreed to by their convo earlier in the day

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Kenlein said he tried to again communicate with Chanin Starbuck in the early evening hours on December 1st

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: After eating panda he took his son to get a haircut. They are now looking at a receipt of the haircut. Again, proving location

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: After eating lunch at Panda Express he returned to the home where he lived with his wife and offered her leftovers.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Kenlein is now showing an "exact copy" of receipt he had from Panda Express, likely trying to prove location on day of murder

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: State continues to go over many messages sent from Chanin's phone in an attempt to prove Clay sent them.

 TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Kenlein said someone responded from Chanin's phone saying "no tonight. I will have Clay take the kids."

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: On December 1st someone from Chanin's phone also sent a message "did you stop by? Do you want to come over tonight?"

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Another message from Chanin's phone read "sorry to have missed you.Are you headed back to Deer Park?"Again, hours after murder

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: "Did you come by?" The message read from Chanin's phone to Kenlein's yahoo. At this point it is unclear who sent it

 TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Kenlein received messages to his yahoo instant messenger from Chanin's phone, likely hours after the murder on Dec. 1, 2011

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: John Kenlein used the name John Wilson on the dating site in an effort to hide his ongoing affair

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: John sent Chanin a text message that read "are you ok?" more than once on December 1st, the day of the murder.

 TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Kenlein sent many messages from different locations, computers and phones to try to contact Chanin.

 TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Then he went to North Spokane Library to try the same exact thing. He said when he was there he got text messages back from Chanin's phone. 

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Once Kenlein was back in Spokane he said he went to Whitworth to try to contact her again via instant message.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: After another unsuccessful attempt to contact her,Kenlein returned to Spokane. He said he got together w/ her 5-6 times before December 1st

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: He noticed everything was shuttered up and that was nothing was open in the Starbuck home at all.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: He stopped at a pay phone to try to call her. After she didn't answer the pay phone call he went back to her house to check around her house

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: When Kenlein arrived at the Starbuck home he knocked a few times and left when she didn't answer

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Kenlein was a teacher and coach at Lewis and Clark High School, not certain of his current employment status.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: He took a personal day from work to go and meet up with Chanin after dropping off his kids at school.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Kenlein was supposed to meet her on December 1st at 10:30 am, the same day all of this happened.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: John Kenlein takes the stand. He's the local teacher who was involved in "a sexual relationship" w/ Chanin Starbuck

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Starbuck trial is at lunch. Will have more updates in the afternoon.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: The 911 supervisor acknowledges that their rules were not followed when a 911 call was made in regards to the #Starbuck murder

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Two witnesses have now taken the stand confirming that two of the Starbuck boys were at school and work on the day and day after the murder

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Two weeks after the parent teacher conference Chanin Starbuck was found murdered in her Deer Park home.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: He told her (teacher) "I wouldn't be surprised if we found her dead, I wouldn't be surprised if we found her with her throat slit open."

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: She said Clay stayed late to tell her about Chanin "sleeping around" and that the kids hated her.

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Meredith Pearson, one of the Starbuck kids 5th grade teacher, took stand and spoke of parent teacher conference before the

TWEET FROM ALEX ROZIER ON WED: Joe Feist Principal Deer Park High School took the stand. He said Blake Starbuck was in school all day Dec . 1 and 2, 2011

FROM TUESDAY:

TWEET FROM KESLEY: Blake Starbuck: last saw his mom on his bday in Sept. 2011; a friend told him there was crime scene tape at her house Dec 3

TWEET FROM KELSEY: Blake Starbuck now on the witness stand in his father's #Spokane murder trial.

TWEET FROM KELSEY: 12yo #Starbuck boy: dad told mom his car broke down that morning, so she took them to school, dad came home later w/oily hands

TWEET FROM KELSEY: 12yo #Starbuck boy: the day his mom was killed, nobody came to pick him up from school, oldest brother got him

TWEET FROM KELSEY: Starbuck trial: state now calling one last witness before 5 Starbuck kids are expected to testify in their mother's murder.

TWEET FROM KELSEY: #Starbuck trial: defense cross-examining detective about collection of fingerprints from the scene.

TWEET FROM KELSEY: The eldest #Starbuck boys are waiting in the hallway outside the courtroom to be called as witnesses against their father.

TWEET FROM KELSEY: Starbuck trial: back in session for the afternoon. All five of the Starbuck kids are expected to testify this afternoon.

TWEET FROM KELSEY: Starbuck #trial: Judge rules that all witness testimony can be videotaped, w possible exception of the couple's 3 minor kids.

TWEET FROM KELSEY: Covering trial of Clay Starbuck in #Spokane, charged w killing ex-wife. The couple's 5 kids are expected to testify today

FROM KHQ'S Kelsey Watts: Today I'm covering the ongoing trial of Clay Starbuck at the Spokane County Courthouse. He's accused of killing his ex-wife Chanin Starbuck at her Deer Park Home in Dec. 2011. All five of the couple's children are being called as witnesses, and their testimony is expected to begin this afternoon. The eldest two children have maintained their father is innocent.

PREVIOUS STORY:

SPOKANE, Wash. - Monday marked day two of the Clay Starbuck trial. Several witnesses took to the stand.Prosecutors called several witnesses to the stand to try and prove Clay Starbuck murdered his ex-wife Chanin.

Detectives testified on Monday that when they found the body of Chanin in her bedroom, she was laying in a position that would "dis-credit her," leaving investigators to believe her death was no accident.Detectives testified Clay showed up at a neighbor's home while investigators were on scene and asked, "why are you at my ex wife's house," and  told detectives that he was "concerned because of the lifestyle" Chanin was living. Detectives testified they believe Clay was trying to point their investigation in a "different direction."

Starbuck's defense attorneys cross examined the detectives as they testified. Clay has also told authorities that Chanin would meet men online and dropped hints of Chanin's alleged "sexual proclivity."

PREVIOUS STORY:

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.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • LOOKING FOR A HOME? 10 Homes For Sale In Spokane For $125,000

    LOOKING FOR A HOME? 10 Homes For Sale In Spokane For $125,000

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:56:12 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spring is a popular time to purchase and sell a home. Here are 10 homes for sale in Spokane for $125,000. These homes were found on www.WindermereSpokane.com. If you would like more information on any of these homes or would like to schedule a tour, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spring is a popular time to purchase and sell a home. Here are 10 homes for sale in Spokane for $125,000. These homes were found on www.WindermereSpokane.com. If you would like more information on any of these homes or would like to schedule a tour, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
  • LOOK: 5 Foreclosed N. Idaho Homes For Sale For Under $120,000

    LOOK: 5 Foreclosed N. Idaho Homes For Sale For Under $120,000

    Wednesday, March 12 2014 2:00 PM EDT2014-03-12 18:00:09 GMT
    KHQ.COM - If you are in the market to buy a house you may want to consider looking at these homes that are currently in foreclosure in N. Idaho. These are five homes in multiple areas of N. Idaho that you can get for under $120,000. With a little paint and some elbow grease, many of these homes would be great for those who are looking to flip a home and turn a profit.>>
    KHQ.COM - If you are in the market to buy a house you may want to consider looking at these homes that are currently in foreclosure in N. Idaho. These are five homes in multiple areas of N. Idaho that you can get for under $120,000. With a little paint and some elbow grease, many of these homes would be great for those who are looking to flip a home and turn a profit.>>
  • LOOKING FOR A HOME? Here Are 15 Homes For Sale For $175,000

    LOOKING FOR A HOME? Here Are 15 Homes For Sale For $175,000

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:08 AM EDT2014-04-15 14:08:47 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Spring is a popular time for those looking to buy or sell their home! We found 15 homes currently for sale in Spokane and surrounding areas all priced at $175,000. These homes were found on WindermereSpokane.Com for more information on a particular property, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
    KHQ.COM - Spring is a popular time for those looking to buy or sell their home! We found 15 homes currently for sale in Spokane and surrounding areas all priced at $175,000. These homes were found on WindermereSpokane.Com for more information on a particular property, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • 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

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:18 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:18:18 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. >>
    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. >>
  • Puzzling Rare Birth Defects In Eastern Washington; Health Dept. Investigating

    Puzzling Rare Birth Defects In Eastern Washington; Health Dept. Investigating

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:15 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:15:39 GMT
    YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - The state Health Department is trying to find the cause of an unusually high number of rare birth defects in south-central Washington.>>
    YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - The state Health Department is trying to find the cause of an unusually high number of rare birth defects in south-central Washington.
    >>
  • Washington School Bus Driver Accused Of Bullying

    Washington School Bus Driver Accused Of Bullying

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:04:45 GMT
    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A school bus driver in Olympia, Wash., has been placed on leave while the school district investigates accusations that he bullied a developmentally disabled 14-year-old girl.>>
    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A school bus driver in Olympia, Wash., has been placed on leave while the school district investigates accusations that he bullied a developmentally disabled 14-year-old girl.
    >>