Kent Hovind Trial: He’s Guilty!

Our last post about this case was a couple of days ago: Kent Hovind Trial: His Testimony Begins. We didn’t give you any background information in that post, so we’ll include that in next few indented paragraphs, which most of you can skip:

The principal defendant has a writeup in Wikipedia: Kent Hovind (a/k/a “Dr. Dino”), which describes his 2006 conviction for tax evasion.

Hovind contested the original tax charges against him, and lost. Then he appealed and lost. He’s been in prison for eight years, during which he also contested the seizure of his property, and was unsuccessful in that. He had his day in court. Now he’s being charged with fraudulently trying to stop the feds from selling property that the courts have already determined was lawfully taken from him.

He filed lis pendens documents attempting to cloud the government’s title to the confiscated property. Here’s a link to the text of the indictment. Hovind is a martyr to two different groups of people, and his behavior suggests a certain similarity between them — see Creationists and Tax Protesters.

Hovind ‘s co-defendant is John Paul Hansen, who seems to have been providing Hovind with advice in these matters. Hansen is also facing mail fraud charges in connection with the lis pendens filing on the real estate that the government had seized.

Okay. Here’s the latest news report from the Pensacola News Journal. Their headline is Kent ‘Dr Dino’ Hovind trial in deliberations. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The jury in the trial of the Pensacola evangelist Kent Hovind entered deliberations Tuesday night, and a verdict could be rendered today.

Wow — Hovind didn’t spend three days on the stand as he had wanted to do. And unfortunately, we didn’t see any news reports about his cross-examination, nor about the testimony — if any — of the co-defendant, John Paul Hansen. Let’s see what else we’re told.

Aaaargh!! That’s all the newspaper says! Nothing about closing arguments, nothing about the judge’s instructions to the jury. Nothing at all, really.

As we’ve remarked before, this is possibly the worst courthouse reporting we’ve ever seen. Anyway, it’ll soon be over. We don’t think the jury will take too long in reaching a verdict. But juries can be unpredictable.

Whoa, wait! The newspaper just updated their story, and their headline! Here’s the latest:

At 11:09 p.m. the jury in the trial of Kent Hovind returned their verdict convicting Hovind on one of four counts he was facing, and his co-defendant Paul John Hansen on two of five.

Hovind was found guilty of contempt for filing paperwork disputing the government’s right to sell his property. The jury was unable to agree on the three other charges Hovind was facing.

Sentencing has been set for June 12.

So there you are. Poor ol’ Kent Hovind.

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15 responses to “Kent Hovind Trial: He’s Guilty!

  1. Can someone give me an “Amen!”?

  2. Stephen Kennedy

    It sure looks like “Dr. Dino” is going to be spending a lot more time in prison given the things he and his supporters have said about the judge. Rudy Davis, head Hovindicator, calls her satanic on his radio show.

    This is Hovind’s second felony conviction so there will be no begging for mercy that he is a first time offender.

    This conviction will keep one of the most flaming creationists around off the streets for a long time and is most welcome.

    Hovind, of course, will continue to say he did nothing wrong and will spend the next 10 years bombarding the court system from his jail cell with absurd appeals.

  3. Tom Rowland

    @Megalonyx
    AMEN BROTHER!!!
    maybe there really is a Grand Ol’ Designer &trade after all…

  4. Sentencing is scheduled for June 12.

    Am I correct in thinking that the Florida weather in June is suitable for a barbecue?

  5. Megalonyx asks: “Am I correct in thinking that the Florida weather in June is suitable for a barbecue?”

    Yes. It’s also hurricane season. The omens are favorable.

  6. Larry Williams

    It may seem like hair splitting at first, but Hovind’s earlier tax convictions were for willful failure to collect, account for, and pay over federal taxes, not for tax evasion. The media does tend — incorrectly — to use the phrase “tax evasion” as a synonym for any tax crime. Federal tax evasion is a felony and is a more serious crime that willful failure to pay. It’s also more difficult to prove. To prove federal tax evasion, the prosecutor must prove not only that the defendant intended to evade the tax, but also that the defendant actually engaged in some sort of affirmative act to attempt to evade. Mere failure to file or failure to pay — even with the intent to evade — is not enough. So, the differences are not insignificant.

  7. Larry Williams

    PS: I should add that the tax convictions from years ago — the willful failure to collect, pay over, etc. (section 7202 of the Internal Revenue Code) are felonies as well, with the same maximum prison sentence (5 years) as is provided for federal tax evasion (section 7201). It is the potential maximum fine that is different ($10,000 for failure to pay versus $100,000 for tax evasion), and, as I noted above, a tax evasion conviction would require that the prosecution prove an affirmative act to evade, not merely an intent to evade with a failure to pay.

  8. What part of “render unto Caesar” does Jesus need to repeat to this fellow?

  9. Dave Luckett

    They’ve found him guilty of contempt of court, but not guilty of fraud. Is contempt of court criminal? Fraud is, I know, but contempt? And what is, as they say, the usual tariff? Here it would be almost certainly a concurrent rather than a cumulative sentence, which might affect parole prospects, but has no other effect. I know that in the US what appear to us to be absurdly long prison sentences are the rule. (Hovind would never be jailed for ten years for tax fraud on this scale, here. Two, maybe. More likely, the sequestration of his property would be sufficient.)

    This is not a criticism of US criminal justice, by the way. Autres temps, autres mores as they say. Americans in general appear to be satisfied with the situation, and that is the only criterion that matters.

  10. docbill1351

    I think they found him of Criminal Contempt. Clearly, Hovind isn’t going to change his spots. He will most likely be an inveterate repeat offender. Could the judge do the right thing and sentence Hovind to a mental institution? The guy is nuts!

  11. Not entirely off-topic here:

    I would urge anyone visiting London between now and 1 September to find time for a visit to the British Library and its splendid special exhibition now on until that date: Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy

  12. Megalonyx asks, “Am I correct in thinking that the Florida weather in June is suitable for a barbecue?”

    Besides saying “Yes”, The Curmudgeon might have added, “…and without the need for charcoal.”

  13. Larry Williams

    Responding to what Dave Luckett wrote above: yes, Hovind was found guilty of criminal contempt, 18 USC section 401(3). Technically, he was neither charged with nor convicted of “tax fraud”, in either the first trial or in this one. No, had he been convicted of tax fraud, his sentence could well have been longer than it is. He is fortunate that he was not charged with tax fraud or tax evasion. On another matter: Hovind or his followers have spread the false story that he filed the false notices — in violation of a court order– because there was still a genuine outstanding legal issue about the ownership of the properties. Hovind knows that this is false; he simply refuses to accept it. He had appealed the forfeiture order, and he lost — several years before the conduct for which he has now been found guilty occurred. Once that legal process is complete, that’s it. Under the American legal system, there is a point where finality comes, and everyone is required by law to respect that, whether we believe it’s fair or not.

  14. Does anyone know the juror breakdown on the hung jury charges? Typically a prosecutor will retry if there is a supermajority to convict.
    If I was on the jury the most glaring issue I’d have with Hovind is the fact that he/his lawyer was harrassing the person who purchased one of Hovind’s properties. More than anything, that is why Hovind needed to be reeled in. Apparently, the Hovind family re-purchased all the other 9 properties. Vow of poverty or not, it would seem they’ve got quite the stash. Looking at Google Earth, it looks like one of the properties has an in-ground swimming pool. If that’s for “God’s use”, must be for the baptisms. (That might be the neighbors pool, property boundries down show up on Google earth.)