Utah man pleads guilty in seat-saving assault at a Mormon church
Published: May 22, 2014 08:02PM
Updated: May 21, 2014 10:02PM
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Wayne Dodge

A Plain City man accused of beating a fellow churchgoer last year at a Mormon baby blessing and mission farewell pleaded guilty to reduced charges Wednesday.

Wayne Dodge, 52, pleaded guilty in Ogden’s 2nd District Court to one count of class B misdemeanor assault. One charge of felony aggravated assault was dismissed, according to court records.

Dodge is set to be sentenced on June 25.

Prosecutors charged Dodge after he was involved in an “altercation” that stemmed from a seat-saving dispute at an Aug. 30 service at an LDS Church.

Weber County Sheriff’s deputies say the altercation started when a man visiting the packed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meeting tried to reserve three rows of seats, including the spot where Dodge, a ward regular, normally sat. The visitor confronted Dodge, but he refused to move, according to police.

The two men later clashed in the parking lot, where Dodge reportedly punched the victim. The man ended up with a bloody face, according to sheriff’s deputies.

Weber County sheriff’s Lt. Mark Lowther said that after the fight, Dodge swerved to hit the victim with his car as he was driving away.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller