Preliminary note: I apologize for failing to update the blog. Just after the trial ended, I wrenched my right shoulder so badly I thought I had torn the rotator cuff. The good news is my doctor thinks I just strained it hard. With that…
Where we are at right now, at least from the legal perspective:
- Kent Hovind and Paul Hansen were tried from March 2 to March 12, 2015. Here is a link to Document 142 Criminal Minutes – Trial, which gives a rundown of who testified and when the jury retired and returned with the verdict.
- Document 143 is Judge Rodgers’ instructions to the jury.
- Document 145 is the jury verdict form for Kent Hovind. You’ll see that the jury was able to agree on only one count, which was for criminal contempt of court. The jury based its decision on a June 28, 2007 order forfeiting property. (Paul Hansen was found guilty on counts five and six, but I don’t have his jury verdict form.)
- Document 150 is a mistrial order for the other three counts.
- On March 20, the government filed a notice of intent to proceed to trial (Document 153). Subsequently, Judge Rodgers set the trial date of Monday, May 18, 2015.
- Paul Hansen is now allowed to represent himself (aka pro se) as of April 28, 2015. The same order appoints Christopher Klotz as his backup counsel.
The tl;dr is that defendants Hovind and Hansen were found guilty of criminal contempt (Hovind – count 2; Hansen – counts 5 and 6). The government immediately requested a retrial on the three mail fraud charges which is scheduled for May 18. I will be in attendance at that trial. (Plane tickets paid for, car and hotel reserved…)
As for the small band of Kent Hovind Fan Club members (aka “Hovindicators”) who think “Pastor Hovind”* is being persecuted, they continue to make arguments which are either not germane to the current prosecution, not applicable to Kent Hovind, misleading or flat-out lies. I’ll be discussing those in a separate post.
* The Hovindicators have taken to calling Kent “Pastor Hovind.” The problem is there is no evidence whatsoever that Hovind ever ran a church or ever served in a pastoral capacity anywhere. I believe they’re basing this on the ministerial trusts Kent Hovind purchased from Glenn Stoll as a way to avoid taxes. Judge Rodgers found those trusts invalid because Glenn Stoll, the trustee, was a “nominee title holder” for the Hovinds. He had no control over the trust real property and the CSE Foundation account. (See July 29, 2009 Order by Judge Rodgers.) Moreover, as Kent and the Hovindicators like to claim, Hovind traveled and spoke “900 times” a year before his incarceration, mostly before churches. This doesn’t give him time to be at home to pastor a church. Finally, we know from David Gibbs III’s testimony at the 2006 trial that Kent and his family were members at Marcus Pointe Baptist Church (see Testimony Volume IV at pp. 15-16). I have known quite a few hard-working pastors who shepherded their flocks and paid taxes. It annoys me to have tax protester and sovereign citizen Kent Hovind in their number.