Joined: Nov. 2005
|Park owner pleads not guilty to tax fraud|
Evangelist says he's owned by God
Pensacola evangelist Kent Hovind pleaded not guilty Monday to a 58-count federal indictment after saying he did not recognize the government's right to try him on tax-fraud charges.
Hovind, who calls himself "Dr. Dino," owns Dinosaur Adventure Land at 5800 N. Palafox St., Pensacola, a creationist theme park dedicated to debunking evolution.
For years, he has claimed that he is employed by God and has no income or property because everything he owns belongs to God. He believes man and dinosaurs inhabited the earth together and has offered a $250,000 reward to anyone who can offer him satisfactory proof of evolution.
Hovind's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Kafahni Nkrumah, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Miles Davis at a hearing Monday that his client did not want to enter a plea because he does not believe the United States, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Attorney's Office "have jurisdiction in this matter."
When pressed by Davis to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty, Hovind said he wished to enter a plea of "subornation of false muster."
"Subornation," according to Webster's Dictionary, means instigating another to do something illegal. "Muster" is an assembly, often for inspection or roll call.
When pressed by Davis, Hovind said he was entering a not guilty plea "under duress."
Hovind's wife, Jo, who is charged in 44 counts along with her husband, also pleaded not guilty. Her co-appointed attorney, Ken Ridlehoover, said he had just met her 15 minutes before the hearing so hadn't had time to discuss the case with her.
When asked where he lived, Kent Hovind replied, "I live in the church of Jesus Christ, which is located all over the world. I have no residence."
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