For the second time in four years, a Williamsburg man has been sentenced to prison for burglarizing a church.
Monday afternoon, Whitley Circuit Judge Paul Winchester sentenced Jerry Holt, 35, to a total of seven years in prison.
Holt pleaded guilty on July 2 to third-degree burglary, first-degree criminal mischief, resisting arrest and institutional vandalism in connection with a Jan. 27 incident at Mulberry Community Church.
Holt was arrested about 2:38 a.m. inside the church, which is located about seven miles east of Williamsburg.
When police got to the church, they could hear someone inside, but found the front door locked.
A standoff then ensued with the man inside claiming that he had a knife and had been stabbed, one arrest citation stated.
Police tried multiple times to get into the church without causing further damage, but were unsuccessful, and could see water coming from the subfloor under the church.
“During the standoff, the above defendant could be heard beating on the walls, breaking things, dragging things and yelling,” Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Lawson wrote on Holt’s arrest citation.
After police got inside, they observed that a toilet, wall cabinets, a metal filing cabinet, rugs, flowers, bank papers, flower stands, doors and the front door header had all been destroyed. Water was also running out of a busted pipe and flooding the church, a citation stated.
Holt told police that he had been chased and went to the church for safety. He also claimed that he had been stabbed, and then he claimed to have been shot.
Later on, Holt was taken to the hospital and all these claims were proven false by medical staff, Lawson wrote on a citation.
Holt didn’t tell police why he destroyed the restroom.
Winchester also ordered Holt to pay $500 restitution to the church, which Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Bowling noted was the church’s insurance deductible.
In addition, Winchester ordered Holt to pay a $450 public defender fee and $140 court costs once he is released from prison.
At the time Holt burglarized the Mulberry church, he was on parole for vandalizing another church.
Holt was indicted on Aug. 17, 2015, for third-degree burglary and theft under $500 in connection with the July 6, 2015, break-in of Brush Arbor Church.
On May 2, 2016, Holt pleaded guilty to the two charges and received a total sentence of five years in prison that was probated for a period of five years after Holt served the first six months behind bars, according to court records.
Holt was ordered to pay $898 restitution to the Brush Arbor Church in that case.
On Jan. 31, 2017, Holt allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine, and on Feb. 6, 2017, a Whitley Circuit Judge ordered that his probation be revoked for use of a controlled substance, according to court records.
Whitley County Detention Center records indicate that Holt was lodged in that facility from Jan. 31, 2017 through June 20, 2017 for a probation violation in that case.
Whitley County Detention Center records also indicated that Holt was lodged in that facility from Dec. 12, 2018, through Jan. 3, 2019, for a parole violation, but there was not an indication as to what the original case was.