Local News

Detective takes stand at Starbuck murder trial

SPOKANE, Wash. - Detectives who investigated the 2010 killing of Deer Park resident Chanin Starbuck took to the stand at Clay Starbuck's murder trial Monday.

Starbuck is accused of killing his ex-wife Chanin in her Deer Park home in 2010. During his testimony Detective James Dresback with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said Starbuck offered information without being asked about her personal and sex life, at one point saying, 'Just look at her phone and laptop and that'll tell you everything you need to know.'

This is important because the prosecution believes Starbuck killed Chanin, posed her body in a sexual manner, and sent ghost tests from her phone to men she had been dating.

Starbuck trial Monday

They think he did this to draw attention away from himself and onto the men she had met online.

Dresback said Starbuck spent a lot of the time in their interview crying -- though he never saw any tears -- and at one point when Starbuck had collected himself asked, 'What do you think happened to Chanin?'

"His response to that question was dynamic and that it actually made me jump," Dresbeck testified on the stand. "I didn't really expect that. He yelled at me 'What do you mean?! How should I know?!' It was a complete change in his demeanor from being sad to [gestures] and I jumped."

After an hour of interviewing Dresback says he told Starbuck he could leave but he didn't want to leave and continued to talk about Chanin's sex life in the parking lot, which the detective found odd.

Starbuck's children participated in an interview with KXLY earlier this month and they said their father was offering so much information because, as the son of a police chief, he knew that's what detectives would be looking for.

The children, who may be called to the stand as witnesses in the case themselves, believe their mother was killed by one of the men she met online.

The prosecution is trying to prove aggravated circumstances in this case, which would bring a possible life sentence for Starbuck if convicted for his ex-wife's death.