Kent Hovind Trial: End of Week One

The trial of Kent Hovind (a/k/a “Dr. Dino”) and co-defendant John Paul Hansen (who seems to have been Hovind’s adviser in his alleged misdeeds) is in a federal courthouse in Pensacola, Florida. Pensacola had been the home of Hovind’s creationist “ministry” and his Dinosaur Adventure Land, which is among the properties confiscated by the feds to pay Hovind’s back taxes.

The only newspaper that seems to be reporting on this trial is the Pensacola News Journal. Jury selection was on Monday and opening statements were Tuesday. That’s when we wrote Kent Hovind Trial: First Two Days. If you need background information, it’s in that post. There were no news stories after that until today.

The latest story in the Pensacola News Journal is Paper trail prominent in Hovind trial. An icon below the headline will get you to the newspaper’s comments feature. Here are some excerpts from the story, with bold font added by us:

The government continued to make its case Friday against two “men of God” accused of violating federal laws during a legal battle for $430,400 in forfeited Pensacola property.

That “legal battle” is the cause of the current trial, because it was being waged after the property had been lawfully seized by the IRS, and after a court injunction had been issued preventing any further interference by Hovind. Back to the news story:

During the Hovind and Hansen joint trial in Pensacola this week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany Eggers presented a lengthy paper trail of emails, recorded phone calls, court filings and other media to demonstrate the defendants’ continued jostling for the property. With Scott Schneider, an agent of the Internal Revenue Service, on the stand to provide the timeline and context of the information, Eggers exhibited dozens of documents from Hovind and Hansen during the first three days of trial.

The evidence included excerpts from a blog Hovind maintained from prison. In a late December 2013 blog post, roughly 18 months after the government’s injunction was granted, Hovind’s blog detailed how a cellmate, Alex Matthews, helped him file additional court documents.

They give a quote from Hovind’s blog:

“In May, the IRS was threatening (again) to sell the ministry property putting the family in a panic (again),” he wrote. “Alex helped me file a ‘lis pendens’ which stops all action on the property until the S.C. lawsuit is resolved.”

That looks like an intentional violation of the injunction. Let’s read on:

The referenced South Carolina lawsuit was based on Hovind’s allegations that corrections personnel deliberately delayed delivering court documents to him, causing him to miss a deadline in appealing his 2006 conviction and sentence. A defense attorney said [we assume it was in an objection to the evidence] Hovind was convinced he would win the suit, creating a domino effect where the judgment against him would be overturned and he would regain his Pensacola property. His lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The story continues:

Hovind’s attorney, Thomas Keith, said that his client had made no attempts to hide his actions to regain the properties and had believed he was operating in the confines of the law.

No attempt to hide his actions? Of course not. The lis pendens papers he filed were public documents, intended to cloud the government’s title to the seized property. If that’s the defense, it’s not much. But maybe there will be more. We’re told:

Keith is expected to begin Hovind’s defense next week.

That’ll be the fun part of the trial. There’s not much else in the story, except this:

Hansen is expected to offer a “hybrid” defense in which he represents himself with assistance from attorney Christopher Klotz.


The trial is scheduled to continue through the majority of next week.

This thing is just one thrill after another, isn’t it?

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14 responses to “Kent Hovind Trial: End of Week One

  1. Hovind sounds like a self-made martyr: he breaks the law, then complains of persecution when he’s called to account for it like a mere mortal, then apparently breaks the law again by violating a court injunction (apparently while still in prison, no mean feat). Look for further claims of persecution and, quite likely, more lawbreaking in the name of the Lord. This can’t possibly end well for him. Isn’t that just a crying shame?

  2. So much for the ol’ “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” but that must be one of those metaphoric verses.

  3. I wrote an op-ed piece about the Hovind case, and it’s on the Pensacola News Journal website.

    Here’s some background, from that article, about the lawsuit Kent filed:

    “However, Hovind continued to obstruct the sale of the remaining four properties. In May 2013, someone acting on Hovind’s behalf filed lis pendens for the four parcels in Escambia County. A lis pendens gives notice of a pending lawsuit which may affect the ownership of a property. Hovind’s lis pendens used as its basis a Bivens civil rights action filed against the Bureau of Prisons in South Carolina federal court. Judge Rodgers discharged the lis pendens in October 2013, finding Hovind had no legal or equitable interest in the four parcels, which had been legitimately forfeited to the government years previously. After that, the government initially filed a notice of criminal contempt against Hovind, but later dropped it for the current mail fraud charges. As for the Bivens action, it was dismissed in January by an appellate court for failure to prosecute.”

    Note that last sentence. The South Carolina Bivens suit was dismissed for failure to prosecute. Kent was only using that suit as a fig leaf to continue his harassment of the feds trying to sell his property.

  4. I saw that earlier, Deana Holmes. Very nice. I didn’t mention it because it’s no fun to blog about stuff I agree with.

  5. Kent really does believe he’s above the law, it’s not an act he REALLY seems to believe he is. I wonder what it’s like in Kentworld?

  6. docbill1351

    Hovind is a simple grifter, rather, a simple-minded grifter. First of all, he’s not very smart and he’s probably a sociopath. More to the point, it’s all about the money, the money, the money. Hovind didn’t shovel that money into his ministry, helping the poor, spreading the gospel, creating foundations – no, it went into his pocket. Total and pure greed, nothing more.

    The irony is that he’s fighting so very hard for his “property” while claiming at the same time he owns no property. I think 20 more years in stir will be good for his soul, but I pity his cell mates.

  7. Curmudgeon, it’s perfectly ok not to mention it. I just wanted to point out that Bivens suit, because I’m sure Kent’s then-cellie mentioned it as a way to get back in the business of putting liens on the remaining parcels as a way to block the government’s sale of those properties to non-Hovinds.

    Apparently one of the witnesses today was Anthony Jaworski, the poor guy who mistakenly bought one of the Hovind properties. According to a case he filed in DC federal court back in 2013 (and later dismissed), Jaworski claims that he was harassed by the Hovind family after he showed up to take possession of the property. Additionally, Paul Hansen, Kent’s codefendant, sent Jaworski “legalish” documents telling him he needed to pay $100/day to the Hovinds and otherwise threatening him. While the lawsuit itself wasn’t admitted, Jaworski testified and apparently the Hovind family came out looking pretty tacky according to my source.

  8. There is no prima facie evidence.

    This trial should have never been brought to trial.

    The legal paperwork was filed legally, there is no fraud, there is nothing… it’s a sham

    This entire circus has a ring leader called Judge Rodgers and a freak-show of criminals who want to keep Kent Hovind in prison.

    No evidence
    No prima facie evidence
    Just a bunch of legal paperwork.

  9. Clearly, Hovind free represents a threat to the atheist-controlled US government. A greater threat than, for example, the Discovery Institute. You notice that they are not being persecuted by the IRS, because they are not testifying to the truth of the Deluge and the Ark. Once the central truth of Christianity, that there was a literal, world-wide flood, is proclaimed throughout the land, then we can expect the arrival of the Millennium. Remember whenever anyone asked Jesus what he could do to get into Heaven, Jesus made it clear: Believe the literal truth of the Bible, including the parts which haven’t been written yet, and, most importantly, don’t forget Noah. This was the central theme of all of His sermons and parables. And the Epistles return to that theme time and again. And Revelation is telling us about the consequences of ignoring the Bible.
    Or something like that.

  10. One thing that interests me is Hovind’s fellow creationists defending him. Something about the believer psyche that makes them ignore the fact that Hovind did break the law. For example I watched some of Coach Dave Daubenmire’s videos on the trial. He elaborates on how Hovind is in prison for structuring but does not include the fact that Hovind was not paying his federal taxes or his employees FICA taxes. Oh and of course “Coach” deleted my comment and then disabled comments.
    I do think the prosecution of Hovind and his co-defendant shouldn’t prevail. Mail fraud laws don’t exist for this sort of thing, it is to prevent con artists from using the mail to steal money.

  11. Troy, I think the government is going after Hovind to make him an example. Kent’s been going by the sovereign citizen playbook. He’s been clogging up the courts with paper. This week, a number of people had to be brought in to verify signatures because Kent and his codefendant, Paul Hansen, refused to stipulate that they’d signed certain things. Those are the kinds of things sovereign citizens do.

    Sovereign citizen nuttery is funny until you’re the person finding out that some guy is sending you a letter demanding $100/day in gold for taking possession of property you purchased from the government. And that’s just the “paper terrorism.” It gets worse.

  12. docbill1351

    You learn something new every day: obviously late to the party, I just read that Hovind didn’t structure his Dino Land as a 501(c), so he was operating a business, not a non-profit ministry. So, he’s a common tax cheat.

  13. docbill1351 says: “So, he’s a common tax cheat.”

    That’s why he’s been in prison since 2007.

  14. docbill1351

    Well, yeah, but I thought he was “smart” enough to put together a 501(c), but now that I realize Hovind thinks he lives in his own, unique universe where he can make up the rules it all makes sense.

    It’s sad when you think about his entire life being a lie and a cheat. There are places for folks like Hovind: Idaho.