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Gun lobbyist Clark Aposhian testifies: I didn't make threats

Published July 16, 2013 9:51 pm

Judge to rule on gun lobbyist's injunction case in August.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A police officer's report and sworn testimony that Clark Aposhian was uncooperative before he was arrested on Memorial Day was "a complete misrepresentation of the facts," Aposhian said Tuesday during the final hearing on a civil stalking injunction against him.

Aposhian said before the May 27 incident — in which he backed a 2.5-ton "Zombie Response Vehicle" onto his ex-wife's driveway — he "honestly thought things had been going great" with his ex-wife and her husband. But Aposhian said the husband called him and angrily told him never to come onto the property again.

He denied the husband's testimony that Aposhian, a firearms instructor and gun-rights lobbyist, threatened him and said he would "bury" and "end" him. The husband called Cottonwood Heights police after the Army truck incident and phone calls.

Aposhian said he returned to see whether his Army surplus truck damaged the family's driveway. He pulled up in his red Dodge Magnum, introduced himself by name to police and was cooperative before he was handcuffed and later charged with domestic violence in the presence of a child. A court also temporarily barred him from possessing weapons.

He did say, though, "I probably could have been a little more cooperative."

The husband filed a temporary civil stalking injunction as a result of the alleged threats. Aposhian and a witness to the phone call maintain no such threats occurred.

Third District Judge Terry Christiansen allowed the attorneys up to 10 pages of arguments — five on the injunction and five on whether Aposhian should have access to his estimated 300 weapons.

Mitch Olsen, the husband's attorney, has 10 days to file his arguments. Aposhian's attorneys then have until July 31 for their arguments. Five more days are allowed for rebuttal, if needed, after that. The judge will then decide whether the stalking injunction should be permanent.

Attorneys met Tuesday for more than two hours with Christiansen, each other and their clients, likely trying to reach an agreement outside the courtroom on the injunction. The hearing then resumed around 4:25 p.m.

Olsen asked Aposhian about a May 31, 2010, incident during which the husband said Aposhian confronted him around midnight in the street.

The husband said he was driving his Jeep Wrangler down a Cottonwood Heights street after dropping off Aposhian's estranged wife at her home. The Aposhians weren't living together at that time and would finalize their divorce in July 2010.

Aposhian, wearing all black, walked in front of the car and shined a flashlight into the windshield, the husband testified.

Aposhian denied claims that he was watching the husband from his house and that he confronted the Jeep in the street. Quite the opposite, Aposhian said.

Aposhian said he was working on the sprinkler system at his rented home, down the street from his estranged wife's home, around midnight or 12:30 a.m. He was going out of town for about a week and needed to fix the system before he left, he said.

That's when the Jeep stopped in front of his house — "a good 40 feet before the stop sign" — and stayed there, Aposhian said. Not recognizing the car, Aposhian approached it because it was unusual.

Aposhian denied escalating the situation or approaching the Jeep and telling the driver to open his window while his right hand was behind his back, as the husband testified in court Monday.

Olsen also is representing Aposhian's ex-wife in a protective order case stemming from the same Memorial Day incident.

Aposhian's next hearing on the domestic violence charge is July 31.

Two neighbors testified that they knew Aposhian as a peaceful man and said they didn't know him to make threats.

Olsen questioned Monday whether Aposhian was really out of work, citing the firearms instructor could use a replica during his seminars. —

What's next

• Third District Court Judge Terry Christiansen is expected to decide whether a stalking injunction against Clark Aposhian should be permanent in August.

•Aposhian's next hearing on the domestic violence charge is July 31.