Starbuck to be charged with Sexual Violation of Human Remains


by Katie Utehs &

Posted on February 10, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 2:16 AM

SPOKANE-- Clay Starbuck appeared in court Friday on a rarely used charge.

The Spokane county prosecutor's office is seeking an additional charge of sexual violation of human remains.

Earlier this week he was arrested and accused of strangling his ex-wife Chanin to death in her Deer Park home in December.   

Clay Starbuck's original aggravated first degree murder charge could carry a life sentence if he's convicted.

The rare charge came from the Prosecutor's Office based on the evidence found by detectives.

Court documents say Chanin's body was posed "in attempt to lead investigators down a different path."

These charges are in addition to charges of first degree murder and first degree burglary asked for by the Sheriff's Office.

Detectives interviewed Clay after his arrest Monday. He denied involvement with the murder of his ex-wife.

When detective's asked him why he killed Chanin, he stopped answering questions.

Court documents say, "He nodded his head side to side as if saying no, but would not respond verbally."

Clay responded with yes and no answers when presented with the new charge in court.

His oldest sons and family were present. They declined comment.

The prosecutor tells KREM 2 News he added the extra charge because of the horrific nature of the crime.

When detectives searched Chanin Starbuck's home after her murder there were some items missing and they turned-up in the master bedroom closet in Clay Starbuck's home.

In Clay's house they found divorce documents, spyware logs, and even Chanin's watch and ID.

Detectives pulled a computer hard drive marked "Chanin’s desk top comp."

Chanin had installed a surveillance system in her home when she suspected Clay was stealing jewelry and firearms. Detectives have not said what data is stored on the hard drive they seized or if it could contain any surveillance images.

They also found printed copies of Chanin's e-mails.  Court documents say, "It states to the person that she would give him her cell number but Clay tracks her incoming and outgoing calls."

Investigators say no detail is too small.

Court documents also say, "Posted on the master bedroom closet wall was a copy of Chanin Starbuck's death certificate."

Clay Starbuck will be in court February 21st for arraignment.

Chanin Starbuck leaves behind five children. They are staying with friends of the the family since Clay's arrest Monday.
The Starbuck Children Fund is set up for all Washington Trust bank locations.