By Editorial Staff
Published October 12, 2000
By Rick Cundiff, Staff Wrier, Ocala Star Banner
OCALA — A psychological evaluation of Michael Spielvogel won’t be allowed into evidence at the extortion trial of Spielvogel and abortion clinic doctor James Scott Pendergraft.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary R. Jones ruled after a 2 1/2 -hour hearing Friday that the results of a psychological exam of Spielvogel, done by an expert hired by Spielvogel’s defense attorney Dan Brodersen, is not admissible.
For much of the hearing, Spielvogel sat quietly as forensic psychologist Glenn Caddy described him from the witness stand at various times as “self-aggrandizing,” “manipulative,” “obnoxious,” “ingratiating,” “narcissistic” and “paranoid.”
“Almost like the permanent puppy, seeking to get approval,” Caddy said of Spielvogel at one point. “Even as he’s sitting here listening to it, he doesn’t really understand it … It’s not psychotic thinking, but it’s always off-center.”
Federal prosecutors argued that Caddy’s evaluation of Spielvogel was not relevant because Spielvogel is not claiming he was insane and unable to tell right from wrong at the time of the alleged offense. Assistant U.S. Attorney Judy Hunt also argued that Caddy’s diagnosis of “Personality Disorder — Not Otherwise Specified” also was not a legitimate diagnosis to use in a diminished-capacity defense.
Under cross-examination by Hunt, Caddy readily acknowledged Spielvogel is not insane. Hunt also repeatedly questioned Caddy’s evaluation method, which included interviews with Spielvogel, his wife, Pendergraft and one other Spielvogel acquaintance. Hunt alleged that to allow Caddy’s report would be to allow hearsay evidence from those people, which would not be subject to cross-examination.
Pendergraft and Spielvogel were indicted in federal court on June 13. The five-count indictment alleges that the two men conspired to extort millions of dollars from Marion County government by making false and fraudulent statements in a civil lawsuit Pendergraft filed in December, 1998. U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges dismissed that suit last December.
The indictment alleges Pendergraft and Spielvogel lied in the civil suit by saying County Commissioner Larry Cretul threatened Spielvogel and Pendergraft’s local clinic, the Ocala Women’s Center. The indictment also alleges that Pendergraft and Spielvogel, through attorney Roy Lucas, threatened to bankrupt the county by asking for a $100 million judgment.
Both men are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion, lying under oath and mail fraud. Spielvogel faces additional charges of offering false testimony and making false statements to FBI investigators. Both men have pleaded not guilty. The case is scheduled to go to trial in October.
If convicted, Pendergraft faces up to 30 years in prison and $750,000 in fines, while Spielvogel could face up to 40 years and $1.25 million in fines.
Spielvogel left the courtroom briefly only once during the hearing. That was after Caddy spoke of the death of Spielvogel’s adult daughter in December 1998, and the impact her death had on Spielvogel’s state of mind.
Caddy said Tennessee police believed the woman committed suicide, while Spielvogel believes she was murdered. Her death occurred three months before the meeting at which Spielvogel and Pendergraft allegedly tried to extort money from the county.
Even Pendergraft had trouble dealing with Spielvogel, Caddy testified.
“Keeping Mr. Spielvogel under control was difficult, because he wouldn’t even follow instructions,” Caddy said. “In many respects, Mr. Spielvogel plays by his own drum, and it’s very difficult for other people to figure out what the tune is.”
Spielvogel left the courtroom without commenting when Friday’s hearing ended. Brodersen declined to comment. Pendergraft did not attend the hearing.
Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »
Your comments are welcome!
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)