Killer Clay Starbuck sentenced to life without parole

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER, OTHELLO RICHARDS, & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 19 at 8:53 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A judge sentenced Clay Starbuck to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Thursday for killing his ex-wife.  He received an additional 12 months for sexually violating Chanin Starbuck’s remains.

The judge also ordered that Starbuck cannot have contact with his younger kids until he undergoes a mental evaluation.

It was unknown at sentencing were Starbuck would serve his life sentence.

The judge ordered Clay Starbuck to pay restitution for hiss crime including $2,500 in attorney fees. The restitution will be paid in monthly increments of $10 according court paperwork.

The sentencing hearing began at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday and ended around 4:00 p.m. The judge addressed Starbuck before formally sentencing the convicted killer. The judge called Starbuck’s brutality “breathtaking.”

Chanin Starbuck was strangled according to her autopsy. Court documents detailed that she was also torture, suffered ten broken ribs, was tased and sexually violated. Authorities found her body in her Deer Park home in December of 2011.

“There was cold premeditation, just like the morning of December  1st, 2011,” said the judge.

The judge said Starbuck’s June conviction came with a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Clay Starbuck spoke briefly before learning his sentence. He told the judge that he had prepared several pages of text to read to the court. However, he went on to say that, it would not make a difference if he read it. Starbuck maintained his innocence during his comments to the judge.

The judge reminded Starbuck that he does have the right to appeal. Starbuck’s lawyers vowed to appeal immediately following his June conviction.

The prosecutors pushed to ensure that Starbuck could not profit from any potential books or movies about the case. The judge agreed to the motion.

Starbuck's mother and sister spoke in his defense as did four of his five children. A statement was shared on behalf of the fifth Starbuck child who was in court. Starbuck began to cry as his kids spoke.

WATCH: Four Starbuck kids defend their father

Several people stood up to speak in the victim’s defense. Three of her friends addressed the court and asked for the maximum sentence for Chanin Starbuck’s killer. All three of her friends spoke about what a good mother she was to her kids.

Chanin Starbuck’s family also addressed the court. The youngest Starbuck kids left the courtroom while Chanin Starbuck’s family and friends spoke.

The victim’s family said they have made seven trips between Florida and Washington to attend the various hearings and the trial. Starbuck’s mother and sister also addressed the court in Clay Starbuck’s defense.

“Clay Starbuck you are a sick man. I am sickened, hollowed, and depressed,” said Chanin Starbuck’s Sister Amy.

WATCH:  Amy’s complete statement

WATCH: Stephen reads poem in court

Her brother, Stephen Conway, also addressed the court.

Chanin Starbuck’s mother spoke first for at least 30 minutes. Melanie Bourcier’s voice shook as she addressed her ex-son-in-law. She told KREM 2 News that she had been preparing her statement for quite awhile.

"I compare you to Ted Bundy," said Bourcier to Starbuck.

She accused the convicted killer of terrorizing her daughter for years and adultery. Bourcier stated that Starbuck and been excommunicated for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for cheating on his wife with multiple women during his marriage.

“You were sleeping with every woman who would look your way," said Bourcier.

She also accused Starbuck of forcing one of his daughters to sleep in his bed.  Bourcier went on to state that Starbuck took pictures of his wife while showering and stole her underwear.

“I hate you with every cell in my body for what you did to my precious daughter," said Bourcier.

She pleaded in court for Starbuck to tell the truth for the sake of his kids. She also stated that she believes Starbuck had help killing her daughter.
 

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