Clay Starbuck: "I just knew it was going to be guilty"



Posted on June 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 7 at 11:19 AM

SPOKANE, Wash.-- Convicted killer Clay Starbuck sat down with KREM 2 News Wednesday night for his first interview with a local reporter. Starbuck agreed to go on the record as long as KREM 2 News agreed not to show his face.

A jury found Starbuck guilty on Tuesday of killing his ex-wife, Chanin Starbuck, and violating her remains. Chanin was strangled, tased, and sexually violated in December 2011. Her body was found in her Deer Park house.

“I tried to stay positive, but I went in expecting it to be screwed up. I just knew it was going to be guilty,” said Starbuck regarding his guilty verdict.

He will be sentenced June 27th at 1:30 p.m. He faces life in prison for the murder, but told KREM 2 News that he maintains his innocence.

“I didn't have anything to do with it. As long as I'm guilty sitting here, they're wiping their hands of it. They're not looking for anybody else,” stated Starbuck.

His lawyers said they plan to appeal the conviction following his sentencing.

“I was the easy suspect,” added Starbuck.

Chanin’s family said they believe jurors convicted the right man.

“We're all sorry that Chanin is deceased, the family, our kids, everyone has lost a mother, daughter and sister,” said Starbuck. “That can't be taken away. As far as statements that they knew I did it, or something like that, those are statements they want to believe to try to bring closure for themselves.”


He told KREM 2 News that he thought Chanin’s lifestyle is what got her killed. Defense lawyers brought up Chanin’s dating life during the trial. Lawyers stated Chanin had multiple boyfriends at the time of her death. Two testified during the trial.

The Starbuck’s five children released a statement Tuesday and referenced their mother’s dating.

“He (Clay) has tried very hard to protect Mom from the mysterious, sneaky men that she was putting herself and us kids around,” stated the letter.

The kids’ statement mentioned Chanin’s relationships two more times: 

“Mom's online dating wasn't anything new that she started just after their divorce. She had done this for over a decade. Her family and friends don't get it, because they didn't know, or at least didn't know it was out of control like it was.

Prosecution knew that there were more guys, but it would take a lot of work to figure it out and they didn't want to do that when it was so easy to create a circumstantial case against our Dad, especially being married and divorced twice.”

Starbuck said he found out about a lot of Chanin’s sexual escapades after she died. He said he had no idea what she was doing.

However, he told KREM 2 News that he thought Chanin was a good Mom.

 “I did love her,” added Clay, “but she almost had personality issues. She’d push you away then right away pull you back.”

During Wednesday interview with KREM 2, Clay stated he had no way of knowing who killed her.

He said he was dating a woman at the time of Chanin’s death and added that jealousy could not have been a motive, as the prosecution accused.

Starbuck recounted the last time he was with Chanin. He said it was in late June 2011. He claimed he stayed at Chanin’s house.

He also spoke about his children during his interview with KREM 2 News. He choked up and said that he loves his kids. Starbuck is allowed to have jail visits with his two oldest sons. He said he can see his three younger kids after his sentencing.