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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Divorce

Man used transmitter to track wife’s sex

ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (AP) — Police have charged a Pennsylvania man with hiding a remote listening device under his estranged wife's bed that he said he used to avoid overhearing her sex life in the house they still shared.

Raccoon Township police say 66-year-old Wayne Comet Cripe's wife contacted them after finding the transmitter under her bed last month. The Cripes are separated, but still share a home with separate bedrooms.

The Beaver County Times reports Thursday that Cripe acknowledged using the device, telling officers he put it there so he'd know when his wife and her boyfriend were having sex.

Police say Cripe was tired of overhearing the lovemaking and tried to use the device, which he said didn't work, to determine whether “the coast was clear” before returning home.

No attorney is listed for Cripe in court records.

Suspect displayed victim’s death notice

A Deer Park man accused of strangling his ex-wife and posing her dead body had her death certificate displayed in his home when detectives arrested him this week, detectives say.

  Clay Duane Starbuck, 47, is charged with aggravated first-degree murder and sexually violating human remains in the death of Chanin Denice Starbuck, 42. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty. The only other punishment if convicted of aggravated first-degree murder is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Starbuck, a former Alaska oil worker with no criminal history, appeared in Spokane County Superior Court Friday afternoon via video from the jail after prosecutors formally charged him Thursday. He remains in jail on $1 million bond.

Read the rest of my story here.

Feb. 9: 911 dispatcher broke protocol in homicide call

Feb. 7: Police: Starbuck hid in home, posed ex-wife's body

New details in Starbuck murder case

A Deer Park mother of five found strangled to death in her home was positioned in a way to humiliate her and make detectives believe she had been sexually assaulted, according to information released Tuesday.

Clay Duane Starbuck, 47, is accused of murdering his ex-wife, Chanin Denice Starbuck, 42, after luring her from her home with their children, then breaking in and hiding until she returned, detectives wrote in a warrant that was used to search the suspect’s home at 1625 E. 2nd St. Monday night. Investigators seized dozens of items, including cameras, documents, computers and a cell phone.

Starbuck, a former oil worker in Alaska with no criminal history, was arrested Monday morning during a traffic stop in Deer Park. He remains in jail on $1 million bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon on charges of aggravated first-degree murder and first-degree burglary. He’s prohibited from contacting his children, who are witnesses in the case. Spokane County sheriff’s officials say the children are staying with a close family friend.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Feb. 6: Ex-husband arrested for Deer Park woman's murder

Dec. 14: Search warrants sealed in Deer Park murder case

Ex-husband arrested in Deer Park murder

The ex-husband of a woman found strangled in her Deer Park home has been arrested for murder.

Clay Duane Starbuck was booked into jail Monday for the murder of Chanin Denice Starbuck, 42, who was found dead in her home at 509 N. Reiper St. Dec. 3. Deputies arrested him without incident during a traffic stop this morning in Deer Park.

The Starbucks, who have five children between the ages of 10 and 21, were in the midst of a contentious divorce when Chanin was killed.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Dec. 14: Search warrants sealed in Deer Park murder case

Fairfax says Steele rejected divorce idea

BOISE - When Larry Fairfax spoke with Edgar Steele about a plot to kill Steele's wife, he asked the North Idaho lawyer why he didn't divorce his wife instead.

“He said the last time he was going to get a divorce form her she was going to take too much, and we didn't want to part with all his possession and money,” Fairfax said today in U.S. District Court in Boise.
 
According to court records, Cyndi Steele filed for divorce in June 2000, alleging her husband “misrepresented his marital status and eligibility” in online dating profiles “with the sole intention of meeting women” in San Mateo, where he maintained a law office. The case was dismissed two months later and the couple remained married.
 
Now prosecutors allege Edgar Steele wanted his wife killed because he believed she was having an affair and because he was interested in a young woman in Europe.
 
Fairfax, the alleged hitman-turned-FBI informant, testified this morning that Steele had said “he hired a private investigator to follow his wife around and that she was having an affair with an old high school flame in Portland.”
 
Fairfax also said Steele was planning a 30-day trip to Europe.
 
Fairfax said he was working at Big Al's in Post Falls when an FBI agent called him on June 15 after the pipe bomb was found under Cyndi Steele's car. 
 
He's been in custody since and is to be sentenced after the trial for two federal firearms charges.

Complex case came down to 15 cows

 

For some of the best legal minds in Washington state, a complicated Spokane divorce that spanned two continents and a bloody civil war came down to this: 15 cows.

The missing herd was part of several legal arguments before the Division III Court of Appeals as justices contemplated custody of two children. In the end their mother, who relocated to Spokane from Sudan, retained custody.

“This saga spans southern Sudan to Spokane, and features a civil war, refugees seeking to escape Africa and a failure of consideration because the war prevented payment of the remaining cows owed the bride’s father,” Judge Kevin Korsmo wrote in an opinion released last week. “Against this chaotic backdrop, the facts and law are often unclear and in some dispute.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Did Thompson use divorce to hide assets?

Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. divorced his wife to shield his assets and force taxpayers to foot the bill for his criminal defense, the federal prosecutor in the Otto Zehm case alleged in court documents filed last week.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Durkin filed a motion asking U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle to allow the government to tell the jury in Thompson’s upcoming trial about the divorce agreement, which Durkin called a “fraudulent transfer” under Idaho law.

Thompson’s attorney, Carl Oreskovich, called the fraud allegation “unsubstantiated.”

Read the rest of Thomas Clouse’s story here.

Past coverage and a document containing federal allegations about Thompson’s divorce filing can be found here.

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