Kent Hovind trial set to resume

After a weeklong delay, the trial of a Pensacola evangelist charged with income-tax evasion is expected to resume today.

A deputy clerk with the U.S. Clerk of Courts said testimony is expected to begin at 8 a.m. in the trial of Kent Hovind and his wife, Jo, before U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers.

The trial, which began Oct. 16, was canceled the first two days of last week when Jo Hovind’s attorney, Jerry Barringer, fell ill. The trial was not scheduled the remainder of the week.

Hovind, a creationist who owns Dinosaur Adventure Land on North Palafox Street, is charged with 58 federal counts, including failure to pay $473,818 in employee-related taxes.

In addition, Hovind and his wife are accused of withdrawing large sums of money just below the $10,000 threshold for bank-reporting requirements to conceal $430,500 withdrawn from AmSouth Bank between July 20, 2001, and Aug. 9, 2002.

Trial highlights thus far:

• Attorney David Charles Gibbs testified that during a conversation Hovind stressed that “he was like the pope and this (Hovind’s property) was like the Vatican.”

• Barringer said Kent Hovind is a literalist who believes every word of the Bible and his religious beliefs should be respected.

• Pensacola Christian College Senior Vice President Rebekah Horton testified that students at the school were not allowed to work for Hovind because of his tax views.

“We know the Scriptures do not promote (tax evasion),” she said.

• Defense attorney Alan Richey said “the government is slinging a lot of mud, trying to make him look dirty. And his wife — a piano teacher of 20 years — they’re trying to make her look dirty, too.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday October 30, 2006.
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