Ex-seminary teacher accused of stealing painkillers pleads guilty to lesser charge

Published: Friday, July 19 2013 12:42 p.m. MDT

Brian Dean Thacker, a former LDS seminary teacher, was charged in June with burglary but pleaded guilty to criminal trespass this week.

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DUCHESNE — A former LDS seminary teacher accused of stealing a prescription painkiller from a Duchesne County home has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

Brian Dean Thacker was charged in June with burglary, a second-degree felony, theft, a class B misdemeanor, and possession of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor.

On Thursday, he pleaded guilty in 8th District Court to criminal trespass within a dwelling, a class A misdemeanor. He also pleaded guilty to the theft and drug possession charges.

Thacker, 42, walked into a Duchesne County home about 2 p.m. May 26 and took Lortab from a medicine cabinet, according to investigators.

A woman was upstairs in the home and heard Thacker moving around downstairs, Duchesne County sheriff's detectives said. She waited until he left, then looked out the window, recognized Thacker and reported the incident.

At the time, Thacker was employed as a seminary teacher for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a position he had held for more than 15 years.

He taught LDS students who attended Union High School in Roosevelt during the 2012-13 academic year, and was the seminary teacher for LDS students at Altamont High School prior to that.

Thacker was placed on administrative leave after the charges were filed and has since been fired. His termination, however, does not take effect until Aug. 1, according to LDS Church spokeswoman Ruth Todd.

Thacker asked to be sentenced immediately after entering his guilty pleas Thursday. Judge Douglas Thomas ordered him to pay a $1,500 fine and serve six months in jail, but said he would suspend the jail sentence if Thacker successfully completes 24 months of probation.

Under the terms of his probation, Thacker must continue substance abuse counseling, can use only one doctor and one pharmacy, has to submit to random drug tests and cannot fill any prescription without first getting approval from his probation officer.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com, Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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