LOGAN — A 36-year-old Smithfield man, previously convicted of breaking into the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been sentenced to more jail time for harassing his estranged-wife in another case. Peter A. Ambrose apologized and asked to be released so he could help his mother on his family’s farm.
Ambrose was sentenced during a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday morning, appearing by Webex from jail. He previously pleaded guilty to one count of violating a protective order, a third-degree felony.
Ambrose had previously been ordered to have no contact with the victim. In March, he disregarded the court order and texted the woman, attempting to ask her out on a date. He later blamed his behavior on an “act of loneliness” that had been “blown way out of proportion.”
During Monday’s sentencing, public defender Joseph Saxton explained, his client regretted his actions and didn’t make any physical threats against the victim.
Ambrose said he didn’t mean to hurt anyone. He promised that he wouldn’t have further contact with the woman, and asked to be released from jail, so he could help with farm chores.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Griffin Hazard said Ambrose’s case was frustrating, due to the previous opportunities to allow the defendant to change his life.
Judge Brandon Maynard also expressed concern with Ambrose’s criminal history, during Monday’s sentencing. He ordered the defendant to serve six-months in jail, and was given credit for the three-months already served. He also granted work release during the remainder of incarceration.
On December 24, 2019 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 building.
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 later accepted a plea deal pleading guilty to several amended charges. He claimed how he was angry about some “personal problems,” at the time the crime occurred. He was later sentenced to three-years of probation and ordered to pay $3,600 to the Church in restitution.
Court records show, Ambrose was previously convicted of violating the protective order and contacting the woman in September 2020. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to serve thirty-days in jail.