FIRST ON KHQ.COM: Clay Starbuck Sentenced To Life In Prison Without Parole

KHQ.COM - When my Dad was arrested on Feb 6th, 2012 Lyle Johnston and Mike Ricketts were interviewing him. My Dad asked lead detective Mike Ricketts, "When do I get to talk to Austin or Blake, and the kids?" Ricketts responded saying that our Dad would be able to talk to us when they were done, and later stated, "I can tell you that I'll make arrangements for you to talk to your boys, okay?"

It was an entire 1 year and four months later before my brother or I got to share our first word with our Dad. The detectives put all five of us on the states witness list. This prevented us from being present in the court room for any pretrial motions. Although we were placed on the witness list for the state and were called crucial witnesses to the case the detectives did a VERY, VERY horrific job at following up on us five children with the purpose to gather helpful information. If anyone knew what was going on with the Starbuck family and our mothers life it would be us five children, but surely not the three women who shared a dental hygiene class with her for maybe an hour a day, three days a week for 4 months.

We weren't even allowed to say a word, and we were told that something as simple as a gesture or mouthing words to him could potentially get him 5 years in prison.

Having no contact made it very hard to coordinate various things like maintaining our families' assets at the Deer Park airport, assets in Alaska, money management, taxes for college, etc. It wasn't until after his trial that they finally allowed my brother Austin, and I to visit and speak to our Father. Sadly, they were still preventing our younger three anxious siblings from having any contact with him.

This was devastating for my Father as well as my three younger siblings. They have been waiting so long to talk to him, and that is exactly what they deserve after already losing one parent in a terrible way along with their dad who has been targeted in a huge conspiracy influenced by detective's misconduct.

Prosecution was then saying that my Dad would be able to see the three younger ones after sentencing. In the very last minute or two in court for sentencing Prosecutor Larry Steinmetz asked the judge for a no contact order between our dad and any of us for the rest of his life!! My Dads attorney then responded that they could not put that restraint on either Austin or me, because we are adults.

Our three younger siblings did not get so lucky and will have to wait for our Dad to be evaluated by a mental health inspector before contact with our siblings.

There is no law or statue that would allow Steinmetz to enforce this order, and he snuck the no contact order through after saying he WOULD NOT by hiding behind Community Corrections Officer Jamie Huguenin as she was the one who included the no contact order in the court document. I would suspect that Steinmetz had her do this in order to protect himself.

We will be able to beat it, but it will just take a little time along with continued patience from our siblings while they have been let down yet again by another lie and attempt by the state to tear apart our family.

FIRST ON KHQ.COM: Clay Starbuck Sentenced To Life In Prison Without Parole

UPDATE: A Spokane County judge has sentenced Clay Starbuck to life in prison without the possibility of parole for torturing and killing his ex-wife.


The 48-year-old Deer Park man was convicted by a jury last month and sentenced on Thursday.


Starbuck was convicted of killing 42-year-old Chanin Starbuck in December 2011 and sexually violating her remains. She was the mother of five children.


Her body was discovered in her home on Dec. 3, 2011, posed in a sexually suggestive manner.


Prosecutors contended Clay Starbuck was a jealous, greedy, angry man who took out his frustrations on his ex-wife.


Defense attorneys argued that any DNA that linked Starbuck to the scene remained from when he lived in the home. Clay Starbuck says he plans to appeal his conviction.

After testimony from Clay Starbuck's former in-laws as well as his children and other family members, Judge Greg Sypolt gave the sentence and included an order requested by prosecutors that Starbuck could not have contact with his three minor children.

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