Man sentenced to life for killing ex-wife

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - 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.

The defendant's DNA was found in the home he once shared with his ex-wife, Defense attorneys argued that any DNA that linked Starbuck to the scene remained from when he lived in the home

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

"You are a sick creature," Melanie Bourcier, Chanin's mother, told Clay Starbuck "I hate you with every cell in my body."

Chanin's brother, Steve Conway, called the defendant a "dangerously violent, sexually deviant criminal."

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

Blake Starbuck claimed his father's case was mishandled and the jury wasn't allowed to see crucial evidence.

"I'll be thrilled at the day my dad does get a fair trial and the real killer is found," he said.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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