A noise on the second floor of the temple prompted one monk living inside to open his bedroom door.
On the other side he found Terry Tompkins, the man who would soon steal the monk’s sense of safety.
Last week, Terry Tompkins was sentenced for his crimes.
On February 9, 2014, Tompkins and a juvenile walked into a temple in Holly Hills, hoping to steal items inside.
A 76-year-old monk found himself face-to-face with Tompkins after opening his bedroom door. Tompkins demanded his cell phone but the monk, who did not speak English, didn’t understand and closed the bedroom door.
Tompkins picked up a wooden cane belonging to the monk and broke in the door. He dragged the monk from the room, threw him to the floor and began striking him repeatedly with the cane. Tompkins took the cell phone and fled.
The whole incident was caught on surveillance camera. Tompkins made a full confession after seeing the surveillance footage.
“The defendant made a conscious decision to steal from a house of worship prior to ever entering the temple,” Assistant Circuit Attorney Cynthia Copeland said in court documents. “He did so with complete disregard for the people he planned to steal from.”
Tompkins pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery, armed criminal action and first-degree burglary. Last week, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his crimes. The State recommended 20 years.