Assault over saved seats at Mormon chapel leads to jail sentence
Ken Hansen, Deseret News Archives
PLAIN CITY, Weber County — A man convicted of assaulting another man over saved seats at an LDS meetinghouse chapel was ordered Wednesday to serve 30 days in jail.
Wayne Dodge, 52, pleaded guilty in May to assault, a class B misdemeanor. In exchange for his plea, an additional charge of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, was dropped.
On June 30, 2013, Dodge, who regularly attended the Meadows Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Plain City, got into an argument with another family that was visiting. The church that day had a full house during sacrament meeting because of a missionary farewell and a baby blessing.
A family that normally does not attend that ward had sat down in a pew and was reserving seats for other family members. When Dodge sat down in one of the reserved seats, angry words were exchanged between the two parties, police said. That argument continued in the parking lot after sacrament meeting was over and became even more heated.
Dodge punched one of the men he was arguing with several times, leaving the man bloody, police said. The man went back inside the church to clean up. He exited just as Dodge was driving by. Investigators say the man then ended up on the hood of Dodge's car.
The man suffered minor injuries.
Dodge was ordered to turn himself in at the Weber County Jail by Monday afternoon. He will be given credit for time served and work release.
As part of his sentence, 2nd District Judge Brent West also ordered Dodge to serve one year of probation, enroll in an anger management class, pay a $500 fine and have no contact with the victim.
A restitution hearing is scheduled for Aug. 13.
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