A judge will hear evidence as to why Clark Aposhian's ex-wife wants a protective order issued against Utah's foremost gun advocate a move that both sides think will work in their favor.
More than two weeks after a judge imposed a stalking injunction against Aposhian for stalking and threatening his ex-wife's new husband, 3rd District Commissioner Michelle Blomquist ordered the evidence in that case, and any other evidence regarding Natalie Meyer's petition for a protective order, be heard by Judge Andrew Stone.
Blomquist, who on Tuesday characterized the case as "highly unusual," said she did not want to make a ruling on the protective order before all the facts were weighed "equally."
"It is imperative that all evidence be given the same weight before the court," Blomquist said.
Aposhian's attorney Morgan Philpot, who has maintained that his client is not dangerous and meant no harm to his ex-wife or her husband, Ronald Meyer, said he looks forward to the opportunity to present evidence to the court.
"A judge has already found that Mr. Aposhian poses no risk of harm and allowed him to have his guns back," Philpot said after Tuesday's hearing. "He's also been allowed to resume his parental time, which is the most important thing. This man is not a threat to anyone."
Mitch Olsen, the attorney for Natalie Meyer, who attended Tuesday's hearing with her new husband and several supporters, said he felt the evidence would show the judge just the opposite: that Aposhian is dangerous and has made threats to her and her family.
"Given the outcome of the last case," Olsen said, "the stalking injunction can only help."
The stalking order asks that Aposhian come no closer than 150 feet of his ex-wife's husband, Ronald Meyer, lest he run the risk of further punishment, including criminal charges and jail time.
It was imposed by 3rd District Judge Terry Christiansen, who ruled that Aposhian committed two acts of stalking since 2010.
The first, on May 10, 2010, happened outside Aposhian's own home about 12:30 a.m. when, according to testimony, Meyer saw a jogger dressed in all black crossing the street as he left Aposhian's ex-wife's house. He stopped at a crosswalk to let the man pass. But the man ran up to the car and shined a bright flashlight into the vehicle while holding his hand behind his back "as if he had a weapon," the judge ruled.
The most recent confrontation between the two happened on Memorial Day, the events of which led to the domestic violence charges against Aposhian and the petition for a protective order by his ex-wife.
On that day, Aposhian is accused of driving a 2.5-ton military vehicle onto his ex-wife's driveway and threatening to run over Ronald Meyer's car. Aposhian has insisted he only used the driveway to make a U-turn that day and later received a hostile phone call from Meyer accusing him of damaging the property.
Later Aposhian returned to the Ronald Meyer home. Philpot said it was to survey the alleged damage, not to cause problems. But Meyer said Aposhian had threatened to "bury" and "end" him, which he interpreted as a death threat.
Officers who arrested Aposhian testified that he was armed, with a gun and knife, and agitated during the course of his arrest.
It was this testimony that, ultimately, swayed the judge to issue the stalking injunction, and Olsen hopes it will have the same effect in the protective order case.
Judge Christiansen, however, stopped short of banning Aposhian from accessing his arsenal of an estimated 300 weapons, which have been taken from him for the duration of these court proceedings.
Philpot hopes Judge Stone will agree with Christiansen that Aposhian poses no threat and should be allowed his weapons.
But whether the gun lobbyist gets to reclaim his guns may depend on the outcome of an ongoing criminal case, in which Aposhian was charged with misdemeanor counts of criminal trespassing, criminal mischief, domestic violence in the presence of a child and threat of violence.
Aposhian will next appear in Holladay Justice Court at the end of the month for a pretrial conference in that case.
A temporary protective order has been issued to keep Aposhian from his ex-wife as her case progresses.