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Judge: Stalking injunction against Aposhian stands

Published July 15, 2013 10:44 pm

Judge cites second incident between gun lobbyist and ex-wife's husband as reason to maintain injunction.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

The 2.5-ton Zombie Response Vehicle that Clark Aposhian drove onto his ex-wife's driveway on Memorial Day is only half the reason a judge refused to dismiss a stalking injunction filed against the state's premier gun lobbyist.

The husband of Aposhian's ex-wife filed the stalking injunction after the Memorial Day incident, during which Aposhian allegedly told him he would "bury" and "end" him. The husband called the police, and Aposhian was arrested and later charged with domestic violence. Aposhian's ex-wife also obtained a protective order after the episode. The event led to the loss of Aposhian's gun arsenal, estimated by police to be around 300 weapons.

The other incident 3rd District Judge Terry Christiansen cited on Monday when denying to toss the injunction allegedly happened around midnight May 31, 2010, after the man dropped off Aposhian's ex-wife at her home.

As he drove down the Cottonwood Heights street in his Jeep Wrangler, the man said, someone dressed all in black walked toward the road. After the man stopped the Jeep, the person shone a flashlight into the windshield and came to the driver's side window.

It was Aposhian, the man testified, although at the time he hadn't met Aposhian and didn't know the gun lobbyist lived down the street from his ex-wife. He said Aposhian accused him of having sex with his ex-wife.

The man said as he opened the door of the Jeep, Aposhian stepped back, flashlight in his left hand, and put his right arm behind his back.

Aposhian's job as a firearms instructor was put on hold until at least July 31, when a judge will hold a second pre-trial conference for the domestic-violence charge. Attorneys were split Monday whether the injunction, if held, would prevent Aposhian from accessing his weapons.

Mitch Olsen, the attorney representing the ex-wife in a protective order and her husband in the injunction, portrayed the husband as a calm and reasonable person who called police after the Memorial Day incident because he felt threatened by Aposhian.

The husband — who was not home when Aposhian drove into the driveway May 27 — called Aposhian after returning to his home. He said in court he stayed calm as he asked Aposhian to stay off the couple's property, and hung up the phone.

The follow-up call from Aposhian is the key sticking point in the injunction case.

The husband testified that when Aposhian called back, he threatened to "bury" and "end" him, and he felt threatened.

During the call, when Aposhian said he would come back to the husband's house, the husband said three words Aposhian's attorneys focused on during redirect.

"Bring it, b——," the man said he told Aposhian.

Morgan Philpot, one of two Aposhian attorneys, tried to portray the husband as upset and inciting during the second phone call, and tried to paint Aposhian as a peaceful man who wouldn't make the alleged threats.

Attorney Mitch Vilos — the other Aposhian attorney — asked witness Casey Hansen about theevents that led to Utah's "gun guy" arrest.

Hansen said she was in theArmy surplus truck when Aposhian drove into his ex-wife's driveway, turned around and went back to his Cottonwood Heights home. The two returned to the ex-wife's house in his red Dodge Magnum.

"We just went to see because it was assumed that we had done damage to the house or the cars or the driveway, so we wanted to go see if there was any damage," Hansen said.

When they arrived, two Cottonwood Heights police officers were there responding to the husband's 911 call. They soon arrested Aposhian, who Hansen said had been cooperating. Her testimony, and others that will come during another hearing Tuesday in 3rd District Court in West Jordan, are crucial for Aposhian's case. His attorneys tried Monday to have the matter dropped on grounds that evidence doesn't prove stalking.

Hansen's statements countered what Cottonwood Heights police Officer Polly Harris said while other witnesses were in the hall.

Harris said Aposhian refused to give his name and was uncooperative before submitting and being arrested.

Both parties said they would ask to delay a hearing Tuesday in Salt Lake City regarding the ex-wife's protective order so they could reschedule the stalking injunction for more testimony Tuesday at 2 p.m. in West Jordan. Aposhian's attorneys will call more witnesses to the stand, including a neighbor who videotaped the officers around the time of the arrest.