LOGAN — The case against a 34-year-old Smithfield man, suspected of breaking into the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is on hold while the suspect completes a competency evaluation. Peter A. Ambrose was arrested December 24.
Ambrose was scheduled to appear in 1st District Court Monday afternoon for a preliminary hearing. He has been charged with criminal mischief, a second-degree felony; and burglary, a third-degree felony.
Instead of the hearing, where a judge would have determined whether or not Ambrose would be bound over on the charges, attorneys asked for the suspect to be evaluated by psychologists. They will determine whether he is competent to understand the court process and be able to defend himself.
Ambrose was arrested last month after police found him locked inside a room on the main floor of the temple. Evidence suggests he had used a ladder to climb over the building’s exterior fence, break the glass doors and gain entry into the temple.
Once inside, Logan City police officers allege Ambrose damaged paintings, tore down curtains and used an axe to shatter a mirror. A fire extinguisher was also sprayed over furniture and the floors.
While later being arraigned in court, Ambrose claimed he broke no earthly laws and couldn’t be charged with breaking into a house of god’s. He rambled about how he was angry about some “personal problems,” at the time the crime occurred. He said he should have just taken his medication or smoked cannabis, which he claimed helped his diabetes.
Police allege Ambrose has had prior involvements with the church. He has been trespassed from the temple and other buildings before.
Ambrose remains in jail, being held without bail. He could face up to 15-years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine if convicted.