April 30, 2009 in City

Killer sentenced to nearly 51 years in prison

By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photo

Shellye L. Stark is led into Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen’s courtroom on Thursday, April 9, 2009.
(Full-size photo)

Convicted killer Shellye L. Stark will spend more than 50 years in prison for shooting her husband to death in the estranged couple’s South Hill home more than two years ago.

Judge Tari Eitzen sentenced Stark, 47, in Spokane County Superior Court this afternoon after denying motions to vacate the jury’s verdict and to order a new trial.

Stark will serve 610 months for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. A jury rejected her claim of self defense on March 18 following a two-week trial.

Longtime criminal defense lawyer Julie Twyford represented Stark, who fired lawyers Russell Bradshaw and Bryan Whitaker after she was found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder last month.

Stark claimed she was off her medications in jail and that Bradshaw and Whitaker made her testify anyway.

The state had filed a motion asking Eitzen to order the two to testify despite attorney-client privileges, but Twyford said in court today that the state had withdrawn that motion. Bradshaw and Whitaker were seen leaving the courtroom with longtime Spokane lawyer Mark Vovos.

This comes the same day Stark’s married boyfriend, Brian L. Moore, 42, appeared in an Orange County, Calif., courtroom on charges related to the murder.

Spokane police traveled to Anaheim and arrested Moore there Monday night on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Detective Kip Hollenbeck and Sgt. Joe Peterson are continuing their investigation in California today.

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