James Summers III


A man who broke into the Army Surplus Warehouse was sentenced Monday to a rider program.

District Judge Dane Watkins Jr. said he hoped the program would help James Summers, 46, overcome his addiction and find housing.

Bonneville County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the store in December after Summers set off an alarm. He broke several windows, and deputies heard him breaking other items.

Summers told the deputies he was high on methamphetamine, that he was trying to escape people who were after him, and that he broke into the store to escape the cold weather. Army Surplus Warehouse estimated he caused $5,000 worth of damage.

Summers was charged with felony malicious injury to property. A misdemeanor charge for drug paraphernalia was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Bonneville County Deputy Prosecutor Tanner Crowther said a rider program could help Summers put his life back together again.

"I think it's pretty clear that drugs played an active role in this particular offense," Crowther said.

Crowther added that Summers had spent a combined 10 years incarcerated in other states for various crimes, and had been through three states in five months before he was arrested.

Defense Attorney Rocky Wixom recommended probation, saying Summers could receive the same level of help outside of prison.

"I'm not sure that a rider is more likely to rehabilitate him than probation," Wixom said.

Summers told the judge he wanted to be treated and that he had been sober for the 90 days he was in jail. Watkins said he would send him on a rider program, and that probation wouldn't provide the care he needed.

"You asked for help and treatment, and this is where you will get it," Watkins said.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.

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