July 12, 2013 in City

‘Dateline NBC’ to air Starbuck trial tonight

By The Spokesman-Review
Tyler Tjomsland photoBuy this photo

Clay Starbuck speaks with The Spokesman-Review on Thursday at Spokane County Jail.
(Full-size photo)

As the Clay D. Starbuck murder trial reaches a national audience tonight, the prosecutor in the case filed motions this week to ensure any money made from the case goes into a state victim’s fund, as mandated by state law.

“Dateline NBC” will air a two-hour special tonight at 9 p.m. documenting the trial in which Starbuck was convicted of killing his ex-wife, Chanin Starbuck, in 2011. Starbuck continues to maintain his innocence and has appealed.

Since he was convicted of aggravated first-degree murder, Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt’s only option is to sentence him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Earlier this week, Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Steinmetz filed a motion to ensure any money made from a book on the case goes to victims, which is mandated by existing state law. He noted in court records that Starbuck was heard in recorded phone calls talking to his sister about a possible book that the sister could publish in her name.

Defense attorney Derek Reid said he doesn’t understand why the motion was needed, because any profits gained by Starbuck would already be funneled to the victims’ fund.

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