Starbuck kids: "Detectives did a very, very horrific job"



Posted on July 26, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 26 at 7:21 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.-- The five children of Clay and Chanin Starbuck released a letter to KREM 2 News on Friday. The letter is in response to a Spokane judge implementing a non-contact order between their father and the three youngest kids.

The five Starbuck kids initially did not want to comment after their father's sentencing because they were upset with the decision.

"She was a loving mom," said Blake Starbuck. "She was great at what she did. What happened to her was terrible. I wish no one would have to go through this. I feel the real killer is still free."

WATCH: Starbuck kids defend their father in court

Blake Starbuck and his four siblings have stood behind their dad since his arrest. They said that they are 100% convinced that he had nothing to do with their mother's death. The older boys said that not only is Clay Starbuck their father, but they consider him a close friend.

"This was devastating for my father as well as my three younger siblings," Blake continued. "They have been waiting so long to talk to him, and that is exactly what they deserve after losing one parent in a terrible way."

Blake added that he is also upset by the number of people coming forward claiming to be close to his mother.

"If anyone knew what was going on with the Starbuck family and our mother's 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," Blake said.

Chanin Starbuck's family raised a variety of accusations during Clay's sentencing, including that he was a child abuser. Clay Starbuck said that he felt the family just wanted to make him a target for other inmates in jail.

The no-contact order was effective on July 18th when Clay Starbuck was sentenced for killing his ex-wife, Chanin. The order permits Starbuck from seeing his three youngest children, who are minors, until a mental evaluation is complete.

The defense team for convicted murderer Clay Starbuck filed a motion Wednesday afternoon to throw out a no contact order with his three children. Court documents point to the case of Mary Letourneau, who was convicted of having sex with a 12-year-old student, who was allowed to see her children that she parented with the victim.

A motion hearing will be held in August.

The statement released by the Starbuck children reads:

"1. No Contact Orders from the beginning –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."

Starbuck was sentenced to life in prison without parole last week for the murder of his ex-wife Chanin Starbuck. Chanin was strangled according to her autopsy. Court documents detailed that she was also tortured, suffered ten broken ribs, was tased and sexually violated. Authorities found her body in her Deer Park home in December of 2011.