Smithfield man pleads not guilty to alleged burglary and shooting outside LDS Church

LOGAN — Jason Summers has pleaded not guilty to allegedly breaking into a Smithfield church and shooting at a neighbor who confronted him. The plea came after 1st District Court Judge, Thomas Willmore found sufficient evidence to bind the 30-year-old Smithfield man over on seven felony and misdemeanor charges.

During Thursday’s preliminary hearing, an alleged witness testified how he confronted a man matching Summers’ description on the night of July 8, outside an LDS Church after hearing the noise of a window pane breaking. The witness said as he started walking across the street toward the church, the man climbed out of the broken window and reportedly shot at him with what sounded like a shotgun.

The witness said he lost sight of Summers as he called 911.

When officers arrived on the scene, they performed a protective sweep of the property and secured surrounding areas looking for the gunman. During that time Summers came out of a nearby home and began confronting officers.

Detective Brandon Muir testified during the hearing that Summers told officers he had been drinking that night and reloading shotgun shells, replacing bb’s with rock salt. Investigators also saw what was believed to be drug paraphernalia in his carport.

Muir said, after obtaining a warrant officers found a shotgun inside the carport. It was laying on the ground, behind some closet doors. Officers found one spent shell in the gun that looked like it had been reloaded. There was another shell in the rifle that had not been fired.

Summers had claimed earlier that the shotgun was at his father’s home, locked in a gun safe.

Muir said when he returned to the crime scene the next morning, he found what looked like rock salt behind where the victim was standing. Wadding from a shotgun shell was also found in the church parking lot.

Summers was charged with aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony, discharge of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, both third-degree felonies and four misdemeanor drug charges.

Defense attorney Diane Pitcher argued that several of the charges should be dismissed because they are duplicated and reference the same incident. She also asked that Summer’s bail be reduced from $150,000.

Judge Willmore asked prosecutors to research the charges filed and set a bail hearing for Monday.

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