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Judge denies Clay Starbuck's murder appeal

Chanin Staruck's body was found in her home in December of 2011. Her ex-husband was convicted of the murder in 2013.
Credit: KREM
Clay Starbuck live.jpg

ID=15103620SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.—A judge denied the appeal Thursday for Deer Park killer Clay Starbuck.

The father of five was sentenced to life without parole in 2013 for killing his ex-wife.

Chanin Starbuck's body was found in her Deer Park home in December 2011. An autopsy later showed she was strangled, tased and sexually violated.

Court documents were filed Thursday with the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III documenting Starbuck's appeal and it being denied.

Starbuck filed an appeal in 2013 on the basis of four arguments in a 77-page appeal brief. The couple's five children have backed their father. Starbuck has also proclaimed his innocence in interviews with KREM 2 News.

His appeal claimed there was never enough evidence to prove he killed Chanin or that she was sexually assaulted after her death. Appeal documents filed by Starbuck's lawyer stated that:

Starbuck was not granted a fair trial because alternate suspects were not introduced. The defendant should have been allowed to present evidence of his ex-wife's sexual relationships with other men.

Documents also said the 911 recording from Chanin's phone on the morning of the murder never should have been played for the jury. They also accused the prosecutor of misconduct in his closing arguments.

The Washington State Court of Appeals denied all of these claims on Thursday.

After Starbuck's conviction, the court imposed the mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. He was then moved to Western Washington to begin serving his sentence.

Starbuck's attorney said he will plan to appeal again and is looking forward to the Washington State Supreme Court's review of the case.

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