Fight to stop killer from profiting off Chanin Starbuck's murder



Posted on July 11, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 15 at 6:12 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--Court documents filed on Thursday revealed new details about Clay Starbuck’s alleged intentions to profit off his ex-wife’s death.

A Spokane jury convicted Starbuck of Chanin Starbuck’s murder in June. The Deer Park father is scheduled to be sentenced July 18th.

Prosecutors filed a motion concerning the profits if Starbuck solicits a book or movie about the case.
Detectives believed Starbuck had considered selling his story for months. Lawyers said jail recordings prove Starbuck wanted to profit from the case.

There are laws in place prohibiting killers from benefiting from their crimes, but prosecutors said this motion is the best way to ensure Starbuck will not be paid a cent from this story before his financial obligations to his victim’s family were paid off.

Starbuck’s lawyers denied the claim and stated that there is no book or movie deal.

However, he told KREM 2 News that he had briefly discussed the idea of a book or movie with a family member while behind bars. Starbuck insisted the conversation only happened in a joking manner. Yet, prosecutors took the conversation seriously.

The State has filed a motion that would ensure all proceeds from any book or movie deal directly involving Starbuck would go to an escrow account.

The account would be for the benefit of and payable to Chanin Starbuck or the legal representative or assignee of the victim. The Department of Corrections would monitor the account according to court documents. It would be held for five years and then the family could move to collect it.

There are already laws in place prohibiting killers from benefiting from their own crimes.
Starbuck's defense attorney said they have never seen a motion like this. They believe the latest development in this case was unnecessary because Starbuck simply does not have a book or movie deal.

A judge will decide on this motion soon.
The court documents detailing the idea of a potential book or movie deal were released at the same time as a pre-sentencing investigation.

The Department of Corrections completed the pre-sentencing report. A DOC employee said Starbuck was still unemotional. A pre-sentencing investigation is always required when there is a serious sex crime according to lawyers.

Starbuck faces life in prison for the murder of his ex-wife.

He was convicted in June of killing Chanin Starbuck and violating her remains. Jurors spent one day deliberating. His lawyer told KREM 2 News that their client plans to appeal the conviction.

Starbuck strangled Chanin in December 2011. She was also tased, covered in bruises and sexually violated.