Starbuck takes stand at murder trial

SPOKANE, Wash. - After days of testimony from witnesses for the prosecution and defense, murder suspect Clay Starbuck, accused of killing his ex-wife Chanin, took the stand Thursday to make his case for innocence.

On the stand Starbuck spent time explaining away some of what is a largely circumstantial case against him. However, under cross examination by prosecuting attorney Larry Steinmetz, Starbuck may have hurt his defense by refusing to answer some straightforward questions.

Starbuck on witness stand

Confidently answering questions from his own defense attorneys, Starbuck wasn't afraid to admit that he had secretly installed spyware on his wife's computer before their divorce was finalized.

Attorney: Why did you place the key logger on that computer?
Starbuck: Well I was suspicious of online dating activities.

Starbuck was also able to accurately testify that he cooperated with investigators at every turn, voluntarily providing his cellphone, DNA and fingerprints. He also declared, under oath that he did not kill Chanin.

Attorney: Mr. Starbuck did you see Chanin Starbuck December 1st 2011?
Starbuck: No.
Attorney: Mr. Starbuck did you kill Chanin Statbuck?
Starbuck: No I didn't.

However under cross examination Starbuck couldn't bring himself to answer questions about the way Chanin was killed and sexually violated after her death.

Prosecutor: Do you think that Chanin Starbuck's killer was trying to send a message?
Starbuck: I don't know
Prosecutor: Can you give us a fair estimation?
Starbuck: I don't know. Those would just be assumptions.
Prosecutor: Let me hear your assumption.
Starbuck: I don't really have one. I haven't given it much thought.

Prosecutor: You haven't given it much thought with regard to your ex-wife and what happened to her? You haven't thought about that?
Starbuck: No.

Prosecutor: Do you think it sent the message of a woman sleeping around?  Yes or no.
Starbuck: No. 

Starbuck went on to testify that he never gets mad or jealous and that may have further eroded his credibility with the jury because just moments before he had admitted he was spying on Chanin.

The court is taking a week off for a pre-scheduled vacation and then the jury will hear closing arguments in this trial on June 3.