'90s Actor Wesley Snipes Off to Slammer

Actor to Serve Three-Year Sentence for Tax Evasion

ByABC News
November 20, 2010, 11:28 AM

Nov. 20, 2010 -- Actor Wesley Snipes has been taken into custody by federal authorities, according to TMZ, to begin serving a three-year prison term.

Recently, defense attorneys for the actor tried to seek a new trial after they received e-mails from two jurors in the case who allegedly said they determined Snipes was guilty before the trial began. E-mails from the jurors said that they agreed to convict the star of "Blade" and "White Men Can't Jump" because they did not envision that he would actually go to jail.

One of the e-mails sent to Snipes' defense team from an anonymous juror on July 16, 2010 noted, "Certain jurors that had already presumed he was guilty before the trail [sic] started and we only found this out in the last few days of deliberation. We thought we were making the right deal because we did not think he would go to jail for not filing taxes."

Attorneys also called for a new trial due to the testimony of Kenneth Starr, a celebrity financial adviser who admitted to cheating clients out of millions. According to The Associated Press, Snipes' attorneys want to know if the Internal Revenue Service agents working on Snipes' case knew about Starr's investigation.

Snipes was convicted by a jury on Feb. 1, 2008 and later was sentenced to three years in prison for failing to pay taxes on $38 million of income. The actor was allowed to remain free on bond pending appeal.

In his order denying the request for a new trial, U.S. District Court Judge William Terrell Hodges said that rules of evidence and procedure, "prohibits a juror from testifying (or offering an affidavit) about any matter that occurred during deliberations except for extraneous prejudicial information, outside influence, or a mistake in entering the verdict onto the verdict form."

In his order Judge Hodges noted, "The Defendant Snipes had a fair trial; he has had a full, fair, and thorough review of his conviction and sentence by the Court of Appeals; and he has had a full, fair, and thorough review of his present claims, during all of which he has remained at liberty. The time has come for the judgment to be enforced."