By Editorial Staff
Published February 1, 2001
By Rick Cundiff, Staff Writer, Ocala Star Banner
OCALA — Jurors in the federal extortion trial of Dr. James Scott Pendergraft IV and Michael Spielvogel deliberated for nearly seven hours Wednesday without reaching a verdict.
Senior U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges sent the jury home for the day at 4:45 p.m., six hours and 45 minutes after deliberations began. He instructed them to return at 9 a.m. today.
Pendergraft owns the Ocala Women’s Center on Pine Avenue and four other clinics, in Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, which perform abortions. He and Spielvogel, whom Pendergraft has described as his “strategic strategist,” are charged with conspiracy, extortion and mail fraud. Spielvogel also is charged with filing a false affidavit and making false statements to the FBI.
The day began with Pendergraft’s lawyers, Jacob Rose and Larry Colleton, and Spielvogel’s lawyer, Daniel Brodersen, asking Hodges to declare a mistrial. Rose alleged that closing remarks made by prosecutors Mark Devereaux and Judy Hunt on Wednesday were so prejudicial the defense could not overcome them.
The prosecutors said Wednesday that Pendergraft and Spielvogel had committed perjury on the witness stand, with Devereaux saying the jury should not believe any of Pendergraft’s testimony. Hunt used the phrase “bomb, murder and maim” to describe the threat Spielvogel said Marion County Commissioner Larry Cretul had made to him on the telephone.
Spielvogel admitted last week that Cretul had never made any such threat.
“It’s our position that these are unfair and inflammatory comments, meant only to inflame the jury,” Brodersen said.
Hodges denied the mistrial motions.
In his instructions, Hodges told the jurors they could consider any witnesses’ views on abortion as to how it affected their behavior but added, “The matter of abortion is not otherwise involved in this case.
“There is no issue in this case whether abortions are right or wrong,” he added, “and you should not be influenced by your own feelings about abortion, whatever your view might be.”
If convicted, Spielvogel could face up to 40 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines. Pendergraft could face up to 30 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.
Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »
Your comments are welcome!
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — 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.)