Judge grants temporary custody of Powell children to their maternal grandparents
He also offered to move out and have his sister obtain temporary custody of his children. Mostly, Josh Powell said he was opposed to the idea of having custody given to his in-laws.
"I'm here for the best interest of my sons, and I believe ... they should come home with me," he told the court. "I have done everything to protect them from every threat."
But Long argued that in light of all the pending investigations into Steven and Josh Powell, "It's not proper for (the children) to live their with those investigations going. The state's position is this is not a safe place for two young boys."
Long said the state also believed that Josh Powell was responsible for his wife's disappearance.
"Taking a mother away from children and taking a mother away for as long as we've had here, almost two years now in December, it's probably the very worst type of abuse you can put on children," Long said, while adding that if Josh was responsible for Susan's disappearance, "those children have been through hell, frankly."
As the judge was considering issues related to Internet streaming and video cameras Wednesday morning, Josh Powell sat at a table up front Wednesday, staying mostly to himself. Powell, when he wasn't speaking, spent most of his time staring straight ahead, avoiding eye contact with anyone else in the courtroom and not talking to anyone.
Chuck Cox sat in the gallery next to Jennifer and Kirk Graves.
Media from both Utah and Washington filled the jury box and overflowed into the gallery area.
Steven Powell has pleaded not guilty to 14 charges of voyeurism and one of possession of child pornography. He remains jailed on $200,000 bail. Prosecutors said that for at least a decade, he had been secretly filming women, including Susan Powell, and that he shot footage of two young neighbor girls as they took baths and sat on the toilet.
Josh Powell has said he took his boys, then 2 and 4, on a late night camping trip in freezing temperatures the day his wife disappeared from their West Valley City home in December of 2009. West Valley police continue to call him a person of interest in the case because they say he has not been cooperative with them.
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