SPOKANE, Wash.-- A judge sentenced Clay Starbuck to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Thursday for killing his ex-wife. The judge also ordered that Starbuck cannot have contact with his younger kids.
A jury convicted Starbuck in June of murdering his ex-wife Chanin Starbuck in 2011. After Clay strangled Chanin, she was also tased, covered in bruises and sexually violated.
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Court documents filed in July revealed new details about Clay Starbuck s alleged intentions to profit off his ex-wife s death.
Prosecutors filed a motion concerning the profits if Starbuck solicits a book or movie about the case. Detectives believed Starbuck had considered selling his story for months. Lawyers said jail recordings prove Starbuck wanted to profit from the case.
There are laws in place prohibiting killers from benefiting from their crimes, but prosecutors said this motion is the best way to ensure Starbuck will not be paid a cent from this story before his financial obligations to his victim s family were paid off.
Starbuck s lawyers denied the claim and stated that there is no book or movie deal.
However, he told KREM 2 News that he had briefly discussed the idea of a book or movie with a family member while behind bars. Starbuck insisted the conversation only happened in a joking manner. Yet, prosecutors took the conversation seriously.
The State has filed a motion that would ensure all proceeds from any book or movie deal directly involving Starbuck would go to an escrow account.
The account would be for the benefit of and payable to Chanin Starbuck or the legal representative or assignee of the victim. The Department of Corrections would monitor the account according to court documents. It would be held for five years and then the family could move to collect it.
There are already laws in place prohibiting killers from benefiting from their own crimes.
Starbuck's defense attorney said they have never seen a motion like this. They believe the latest development in this case was unnecessary because Starbuck simply does not have a book or movie deal.
The court documents detailing the idea of a potential book or movie deal were released at the same time as a pre-sentencing investigation.
The Department of Corrections completed the pre-sentencing report. A DOC employee said Starbuck was still unemotional. A pre-sentencing investigation is always required when there is a serious sex crime according to lawyers.
Meanwhile, Starbuck's lawyer told KREM 2 News that their client plans to appeal the conviction after Thursday's sentencing.
Look below for live updates on the Clay Starbuck sentencing from the courtroom. KREM 2's Othello Richards and Hayley Guenthner will be there. You can join the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #ClayStarbuck.
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