- Special Sections
The aggravated murder trial of Clay Starbuck is expected to begin on Oct. 22
The 47-year-old Deer Park man was arrested on Feb. 8 and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his ex-wife, Chanin, whose body was found in her home last December. An autopsy showed Chanin Starbuck had been beaten and strangled.
Starbuck, who made a brief Superior Court appearance on Aug. 28, is also charged with sexually violating human remains.
Prosecutors claim Starbuck killed his ex-wife as to not have to pay child support for the coupleâ€™s five children.
At the time of her death, Clay Starbuck owed more than $9,000 in child support.
Prosecutors expect the trial to take 3-4 weeks because of expert testimony on DNA evidence that allegedly links the defendant to the murder scene.
After her divorce was finalized, Chanin Starbuck began using an online dating service to meet other men. Starbuck claims one of his ex-wifeâ€™s dating partners killed her.
Prior to Clay Starbuckâ€™s arrest, Spokane County Sheriffâ€™s detectives interviewed a number of people, including men she had recently dated. Some of those interviewees, including Starbuck, gave DNA samples.
If convicted, Starbuck could spend the rest of his life in prison.