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Utah man sentenced to jail for seat-saving assault at a Mormon church

Published June 25, 2014 2:58 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ogden • A Plain City man accused of beating a fellow churchgoer last year at a Mormon baby blessing and mission farewell was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail.

Wayne Dodge, 52, pleaded guilty last month 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

Judge W. Brent West ordered Dodge to complete an anger management class as part of a 12-month probation. The judge also ordered Dodge to pay a $550 fine and have no contact with the victim.

Dodge, who faced a maximum punishment of six months behind bars, must report to the Weber County Jail by Monday.

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