Wesley Snipes Ordered to Jail

Actor to Serve Three-Year Sentence for Tax Evasion

ByJason Ryan
November 19, 2010, 2:04 PM

Nov. 19, 2010 -- Actor Wesley Snipes has been ordered to report to jail by a federal judge who denied his request for a new trial.

The star of the 1998 movie "U.S. Marshals" now must surrender to the real U.S. Marshals Service or the Bureau of Prisons 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."

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."

A Justice Department spokesman said that no reporting date had been arranged with the U.S. Marshals or Bureau of Prisons.

Snipes' attorney Daniel Meachum was not available for comment after calls and e-mails to his office by ABC News.

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