Judge grants temporary custody of Powell children to their maternal grandparents

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 28 2011 11:00 a.m. MDT

Powell also argued there was no reason for anyone to believe his sons would be at risk in his home. "My sons are safe, they have everything they need. They have all of their needs met."

Powell again denied having anything to do with his wife's disappearance two years ago.

"I did not kill my wife. I love my wife. I know my wife loves my children. I want my wife back as much as anyone else could possibly want her back," he said, wearing his wedding band in court Wednesday. "I have not been charged, I have not been arrested with any crime. I do not believe there is any evidence to say that I was involved."

But prosecutors, Chuck Powell and Jennifer Graves, Powell's estranged sister who traveled with her husband from their home in Utah to attend the hearing, all said they believe Josh Powell had something to do with Susan's disappearance.

"In my heart, I'm quite convinced Josh is responsible for her disappearance," Graves said after Wednesday's hearing.

Susan's two sons were allowed to stay with the Coxes on Tuesday night on a temporary basis before Wednesday's ruling. Graves said it was nice to see her nephews again.

"It took them just five minutes to warm up to us," she said.

In court, Josh Powell, while arguing that his children shouldn't stay with Chuck and Judy Cox, said his sons had hardly spent any time with their grandparents during their short lives.

But Graves said that was "ridiculous" and that they all used to see each other often.

Graves, wearing purple — the color the Cox family has used to show support for their daughter since she went missing — said the children read stories Tuesday night and played games with everyone in the Cox home.

"I believe that the boys will be in a better place if they're not with Josh at this time," she said prior to the hearing.

Graves said the family does not talk about the situation with Steven Powell or the disappearance of their mother with the children. When asked whether the children mentioned their father, she said she thought they had "mentioned something once."

The boys had been living with Josh Powell and his father, Steven, in Puyallup, but the children were taken out of the home last week after Steven was arrested on charges of voyeurism and possessing child pornography. Long told the judge Tuesday that Josh Powell is also a subject in that investigation — prompting Josh to quickly deny any such activity.

"I have had nothing to do with any kind of illegal pornography," he said. "I have no concern about anything on my computers."

In fact, Josh Powell said he had no knowledge of his father's appetite for porn, otherwise he said he would have taken his children out of the home.

"I had no indication there was any problem. There was no visible sign there was any problem. There was no reason to believe there would be a problem," he said. "I have never gone digging through my father's personal belongings. I had no reason to believe there could have been a problem in that regard. I would have acted immediately."

But Graves said she was aware of her father's porn addiction, though she was "shocked" and "appalled" to learn how deep it was. Susan Powell had also told friends she moved to Utah to get away from her father-in-law.

Josh Powell told the judge he would not be bailing his father out of jail. And at different points during the hearing he indicated his brother would move out if it meant Josh's sons would be returned to him, and his father would move out should he be released.

"His property has been removed and put into a room and locked pending him moving out of the house," he said.

Try out the new DeseretNews.com design!
try beta learn more
Get The Deseret News Everywhere