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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