The 48-year-old Deer Park man was convicted by a jury last month and sentenced on Thursday.
Starbuck was convicted of killing Chanin Starbuck, 42, 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.
Prosecutors contended Clay Starbuck was a jealous, greedy, angry man who took out his frustrations on his ex-wife.
Defense attorneys argued that any DNA that linked Starbuck to the scene remained from when he lived in the home. Clay Starbuck said he plans to appeal his conviction.
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