LOGAN — A 35-year-old Smithfield man has been ordered to pay for damages caused after breaking into the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Peter A. Ambrose thanked the church for forgiving his mental illness.
Ambrose participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Tuesday afternoon, appearing by web conference. He previously pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal mischief, both second-degree felonies, and was sentenced to probation for three years.
On December 24, Ambrose was arrested after police found him locked inside a room on the main floor of the temple. He had used a ladder to climb over the building’s exterior fence, breaking the glass doors with an ax and gaining entry into the temple.
Once inside, Ambrose damaged paintings, tore down curtains and used the ax to shatter a mirror. A fire extinguisher was also sprayed over furniture and the floors.
Ambrose was incarcerated in the Cache County Jail and Utah State Hospital for more than four months. He was allowed to be released after pleading guilty to the charges in May.
During Tuesday’s restitution hearing, Cache County Deputy Attorney Aaron Jossie said Ambrose caused $15,817 in damages to the temple. However, as part of an agreement between the defendant and the church, only $3,600 would need to be repaid.
Judge Thomas Willmore told Ambrose, the church had been very kind in agreeing to the deal. He ordered him to pay at least $100 a month for the next three years, while serving his probation. The money will be paid to probation agents, who will direct it to church authorities.
Ambrose apologized again for his actions and said he wanted to repay the church immediately. He explained how he had been working and saving money to pay for the damages. He also promised to stay on his medication so he can sleep and act better.