A few weeks ago a federal grand jury in Pensacola Florida returned an indictment against Kent Hovind of Pensacola, FL and Paul John Hansen of Omaha, NB. In essence, the charges include the alleged conspiracy between them and unnamed, unindicted others, mail fraud, and contempt of court.
Those familiar with the anti-government, anti-tax, sovereign citizen movement will recognize the names of Kent Hovind and Paul John Hansen. Kent Hovind is approaching the completion of a 10 year sentence for tax related crimes including failure to report employment taxes, structuring and obstruction of justice. They are both current residents of the Santa Rosa, FL county jail while awaiting trial. Hansen might have been released on bail after his arrest following the indictment, but he was considered "at risk" for making his trial appearance or otherwise being responsive to court orders pending trial because he failed to appear before the Pensacola grand jury when asked to do so.
Hovind and Hansen were both determined eligible for public defenders and, so far, have elected not to hire private lawyers to defend against the charges in the indictment. Because both, for now, claim to want to represent themselves, the public defenders have been designated as "stand-by" counsel.
I have contacted both public defenders for comment, but neither has responded.
In the wake of public demonstrations surrounding the cases of Michael Brown of Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner of Staten Island, NY, and Cliven Bundy of Las Vegas, NV, folks might want to pay extra close attention to what transpires surrounding the scheduled trial of Paul John Hansen and Kent Hovind. The Hansen/Hovind people have been quite active trying to organize demonstrations at the courthouse in Pensacola on the date the trial is scheduled to start.
Various websites and FaceBook pages have been setup to promote the Hansen-Hovind cause and try to raise $50,000.00 to cover the Hovind and Hansen legal costs, including commissary purchases at the Santa Rosa county jail where they currently reside:
Hansen FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/
Hansen Web: http://www.pauljjhansen.com/
Hansen Web: http://freeinhabitant.info/
Opposition FaceBook Page:
Rather than address with all seriousness the charges against them, Hansen and Hovind appear to be quite dedicated sovereign citizen theologians and have continued their course of putting forth all sorts of claims and theories regarding what all they think is wrong with our legal system and common culture; while neglecting anything of substance dealing with the criminal charges against them.
The present charges against them stem from the filing of frivolous "lis pendens" claims against properties which Hovind forfeited as a result of his earlier criminal conviction. The Government was in the process of selling the properties and Hovind came up with the idea to file the "lis pendens" to thwart the effort, even though he had no remaining legal rights to the property and the Court had earlier prohibited such actions by order of the court. Hansen worked with Hovind in getting the lis pendens filed. The filing of the lis pendens was successful in thwarting the Government effort for a year or so. Ultimately, Hovind's relatives were able to purchase, at Government auction, most of the properties as individuals or through organizations they controlled. Some property may remain unsold.
Hovind has been pleading for attention to his case, especially in light of the current national attention being given to alleged scandals involving the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Hovind expresses his desire to appear before the U.S. Congress to tell his side of the story as to how the IRS targeted him because he has exposed the New World Order movement, evolutionists, etc. As much as I would get a kick out of seeing Kent make his appearance before Congress, I don't think that is going to happen.
I have for a long time been suggesting that Hovind, and by implication Hansen, might be appropriate subjects for the Court to order mental evaluations. Hovind in particular may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), at a minimum. He exhibits various symptoms. It may not absolve either of them of their criminal conduct, but it might help explain why they behave such as they do, despite overwhelming and otherwise uncontroversial evidence against their legal positions.
The mental issue is not without substantial precedent. Lawrence Cohen, a business associate of the infamous, still incarcerated tax cheat Irwin Schiff, had his conviction overturned on appeal where the lower court did not properly allow evidence to be presented to the jury regarding his diagnosed NPD. In more recent days, Mitch Modeleski, also known as the infamous Paul Andrew Mitchell, using Supreme Law Firm as one of his business designations (http://www.supremelaw.org/ ), escaped prosecution where the Court, based on professional evaluations, determined that Mitch was not competent to stand trial and would probably never be competent.
I am not proposing that either Hovind or Hansen suffer from any mental disorder that would excuse their criminal behavior, but it might help, if such exists, to know in order to better understand certain aspects of their behavior and it might have some consequence in sentencing if they are convicted. At this point, neither the prosecution or defense are likely to request a mental evaluation. It may be up to the Court to order such depending on what behavior Hovind and Hansen exhibit, through their various filings or other conduct.
That Hovind is concerned about the prospective results of a mental evaluation may be evidenced by a document which one of his associates posted on the Internet on December 31, 2014; a document that purports to be what Hovind has filed or will file with the Court. It contains a re-hash of various, frivolous, sovereign citizen type claims. In that document, more than once, complaint is made about the judge's power to order defendants to undergo "psychiatric evaluation".
The Hovind family has taken over Kent's business operations since Kent has been incarcerated and has attempted to present an air of legitimacy as to how they operate it, including being officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) religious organization and filing yearly Forms 990. While the family appears publicly to be remaining silent regarding the upcoming trial and the basis on which Hovind has disputed the claims made against him, it is not clear to what extent the family members support Kent's legal strategies. If they were concerned about Kent's mental state and refusal to accept and deal with his personal responsibilities regarding his criminal conduct, they are not showing it. Personally, I don't consider the Hovind family silence acceptable behavior. In my opinion, they need to come out accepting Hovind's legal theories or publicly repudiate them.
There are about 5 weeks left until trial on the newest charges and neither Hovind or Hansen are indicating any willingness to work with the Government in order to resolve the case prior to trial. There is certainly some risk for the Government in taking the case to trial. Hovind and his people have been promoting the notion of "jury nullification" as the only hope that Hovind could be found "not guilty". Jury nullification is an abdication by one or more jurors regarding their responsibilities and oath, whereby one or more jurors finds the defendant not guilty for any reason whatsoever (i.e., they like Hovind).
In November of 2014 Hovind was able to exploit various of his sympathizers in getting telephone interviews with him broadcast via the Internet. Therein Hovind claimed he was willing to talk to anyone about his case, but such an offer appears to have meant only if he can tell his story without being challenged on the details. A challenge was specifically made to Peter J. Reilly, a Forbes contributor who has been covering the Hovind cases for over 2 years, by Hovind and his people, but when Peter accepted and attempted to complete the negotiations for a one-on-one meeting with Hovind, Hovind and his people backed off and it, to date, never happened.
Now it appears that Hovind has been silent for a month or more with no new broadcasts, involving him personally, having been noticed. To my knowlege, Hansen has not had a telephone interview broadcast since he was arrested.
Hovind and Hansen supporters have been publishing various memes with one-liners, such as:
"We Demand Hovindication"
"Free Kent Hovind"
"Injustice Didn't Just Evolve"
"A Call To Action: Hansen/Hovind Trial Court Case"
"Remember Our Brother In Bonds"
"Stand With Brother Kent Hovind Project"
"A New Day Is Dawning"
"Have I Now Become Your Enemy Because I've Spoken The Truth To You"
"Surviving InJustice: Kent Hovind & Paul Hansen"
"Hands Off Kent Hovind"
"Demand Judicial Accountability Now"
It's not just about Kent Hovind and Paul John Hansen. They are, for the present, two of the leading proponents of what is commonly referred to as the "sovereign citizen" movement which involves spectrum of character including the harmless, mentally challenged to those who are inclined to murder law enforcement officers if stopped for traffic violations.
See the following for more information in Forbes articles from sovereign citizen expert JJ McNabb: