Starbuck children claim dad is innocent of murder



Posted on May 7, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 7 at 7:41 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The murder trial for Clay Starbuck is underway at the Spokane County Courthouse. Jury selection began Monday and now his children are speaking out in his defense.

Starbuck is accused of strangling and then sexually violating the remains of his ex-wife Chanin back in December of 2011. Detectives claim they found DNA on the woman's body partially matching Clay or their two oldest sons.

The son's were immediately ruled out based on their alibis and they insist their dad is innocent.
Blake and Austin Starbuck told KREM 2 News they would not support their dad if they even had the slightest doubt.    Both men said they are convinced crucial evidence that could help their dad was never tested.

“I feel the whole investigation has been screwed up since the 911 call my mom made,” said Blake Starbuck, “they didn't handle that properly. They didn't call back the second time or send anyone.”

Blake, 19, dropped out of school for the spring semester so he could put all his energy into family. Instead of pouring over school books he has now reading dozens of pages of court documents for his dad's case.

“I was able to read through all of them myself. in going over it red flags shoot up every other sentence,” said Starbuck, “they weren't properly looking at evidence. They didn't test blood at the crime scene.”

The document that Blake's been concentrating on the most is a motion to reconsider several pieces of crucial evidence the judge ruled in admissible for the murder trial. The ruling was not over turned.

Defense lawyers said evidence about an explicit text sent to Chanin by one of her online lovers the morning she was strangled will not be allowed in. They said evidence on alternative suspects, an allegation that Chanin left her kids alone at night and evidence regarding her sexual relationships with other men is also forbidden according to defense.

Blake said what troubles him the most about this whole thing is what wasn't done...

“A lot of the evidence found at the crime scene is not being tested by the crime lab even after detectives asked for these things to be tested,” added Starbuck

Court documents back that up saying the crime lab never tested a sexual device found at the scene. The court records go on to say the crime lab reported that semen detected from vaginal swabs excluded clay and two of Chanin's online lovers.

Blake said his dad has been wrongfully pegged from the beginning.

“It's really easy to pin it on the ex-husband who is nine thousand dollars in debt,” said Starbuck.