911 Protocol Not Followed The Day Chanin Starbuck Was Murdered - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

911 Protocol Not Followed The Day Chanin Starbuck Was Murdered

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash – As the murder trial continues for Clay Starbuck, charged with strangling his ex-wife Chanin to death, in court Tuesday morning the jury heard a :30 second 911 call that came from Chanin Starbuck's cell phone the morning she was killed on December 1, 2011. 

The call begins with a second or so of noise, followed by silence.

"911, what are you reporting?" The call received was heard saying.  "Hello?"

What follows is a beep; it's a TTY query into the line done by 911 to determine whether the caller is hearing impaired.  Then the call disconnects. 

15 seconds later, the 911 employee calls back, but after several rings the call goes to Chanin Starbuck's voicemail.

This is significant because 911 protocols were not followed the day Chanin Starbuck was murdered.  Spokane County 911 Supervisor David Affeldt told KHQ's Kelsey Watts that when a hang-up call comes in – which is roughly 22% of all calls received – protocol dictates that 911 employees call back twice.  If they can't determine whether there is an emergency, they are supposed to enter a CAD (computer aided dispatch) log for police.

In this case, Chanin Starbuck's cell phone was providing 911 with a geographic location, but the 911 employee only called back once, and never made a CAD report.

That means police didn't know until they began their murder investigation that a 911 call had been made.

Clay Starbuck's defense lawyer, Derek Reid, told KHQ's Kelsey Watts if those policies had been followed, he believes "we'd be in a much better position" today.

Spokane County 911 Operations Manager Amy McCormick told KHQ's Kelsey Watts the 911 employee was tenured, was a valued employee and had an excellent record.  Because of that, no disciplinary action was taken.

McCormick said, "It was an oversight on his part," but also added, "He struggled with the outcome of that phone call."

The employee resigned in February 2012 – just three months after Chanin Starbuck's death.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:16 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:16:40 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
  • PHOTOS: Do you know who this burglary suspect is?

    PHOTOS: Do you know who this burglary suspect is?

    Thursday, August 21 2014 2:25 PM EDT2014-08-21 18:25:51 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office are asking for you help finding a man they believe broke into a home, stole credit and debit cards, and then used those cards to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of items. >>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office are asking for you help finding a man they believe broke into a home, stole credit and debit cards, and then used those cards to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of items. >>
  • Wheat farmers taking a double hit as prices drop and weather takes its toll

    Wheat farmers taking a double hit as prices drop and weather takes its toll

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:29 PM EDT2014-08-20 23:29:24 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Experts with the Washington Grain Commission say wheat production is at its lowest since 2008. Glen Squires with the Washington Grain Commission says the current average price per bushel of wheat is around $6.20 down from last year's price at $7.53. Dry conditions in Eastern Washington is also taking its toll on wheat farmers. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Experts with the Washington Grain Commission say wheat production is at its lowest since 2008. Glen Squires with the Washington Grain Commission says the current average price per bushel of wheat is around $6.20 down from last year's price at $7.53. Dry conditions in Eastern Washington is also taking its toll on wheat farmers. >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Eagles Lodge plans to honor Delbert 'Shorty' Belton one year after his murder

    Eagles Lodge plans to honor Delbert 'Shorty' Belton one year after his murder

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:11:42 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - On the night August 22nd, 2013, World War II veteran Delbert "Shorty" Belton was found badly beaten inside his car outside the Eagles Lodge in north Spokane. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - On the night August 22nd, 2013, World War II veteran Delbert "Shorty" Belton was found badly beaten inside his car outside the Eagles Lodge in north Spokane. He later died from his injuries.Through their investigation, detectives named two teenagers as the prime suspects in the murder: Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetrius Glenn. INSIDE>>>|Previous Coverage|
    >>
  • PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:16 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:16:40 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>