Wesley Snipes Faces Prison Term

Wesley_SnipesA U.S. District Court judge has rejected an appeal by Wesley Snipes for a new trial over tax evasion charges, ordering instead that the actor surrender himself to authorities in order to begin serving his three-year sentence.

Judge William Terrell Hodges issued the order for Snipes’ surrender on Friday, but the 48-year-old actor’s lawyer, Daniel Meachum, said that they plan to file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. In his decision, Judge Hodges said Snipes, who is free on bail, received a fair trial, hence a re-trial is unnecessary. “The defendant Snipes had a fair trial; he has had a full, fair and thorough review of his conviction and sentence.”

Snipes was convicted in 2008 on three counts of deliberately failing to file his income tax returns. He appealed his conviction, with his lawyer arguing that the jury members already believed that the actor was guilty even before the trial began. Meachum said during the trial that he had received e-mail from two former jurors that some members of the jury had preconceived opinions about the case.