Man gets life in ex-wife’s torture, murder

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SPOKANE — A man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Thursday for torturing and killing his ex-wife.

Defendant Clay Starbuck, 48, was sentenced by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt, who called it one of the most aggravated instances of murder he could recall.

Starbuck was convicted last month of killing 42-year-old Chanin Starbuck in December 2011 and sexually violating her remains. She was the mother of five children.

Her body was discovered in her home on Dec. 3, 2011, posed in a sexually suggestive manner.

Starbuck said he planned to appeal.

Prosecutors say Starbuck was a jealous, greedy, angry man who took out his frustrations on his ex-wife.

Prior to the sentencing, family members of Chanin Starbuck expressed their anger at Clay Starbuck.

The Starbuck children have maintained throughout the case that their father was innocent and reiterated that belief in statements to the court Thursday.