Booking photo for Peter A. Ambrose (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).
LOGAN — A 35-year-old Smithfield man, previously convicted of breaking into the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has pleaded guilty to harassing his estranged-wife in another case. Peter A. Ambrose accepted a plea deal and will be sentenced next month.
Ambrose participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday morning, appearing by web conference from jail. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating a protective order, a third-degree felony.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Griffin Hazard explained to the court, 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.
Ambrose admitted to the charge, blaming the crime on an “act of loneliness.” He apologized and said the case had been “blown way out of proportion.”
Judge Brandon Maynard ordered Ambrose to remain in jail. He also scheduled sentencing for June 28.
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 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 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.
Ambrose will remain behind bars until June’s sentencing. He could face up to one-year in prison.