Snipes Requests New Trial
WESLEY SNIPES is fighting to stay out of jail on federal tax charges again - the actor has filed documents calling for a new trial, citing "jury misconduct".
The Blade star lost an appeal against his three-year jail sentence in July (10) after the jury at a 2008 trial found him guilty of wilful failure to file his income tax returns to the U.S. government.
He was due to surrender to authorities to begin his stint behind bars on 2 September (10) but, on Monday (23Aug10), a U.S. District Court judge granted him a postponement.
And now Snipes is seeking to stay out of prison altogether, claiming his defence team received emails from two jurors, who alleged three others "told us (Snipes) was guilty before they even heard the first piece of evidence", reports TMZ.com.
The actor claims he therefore wasn't given a fair trial and is demanding a new one.
He also alleges the verdict was tainted because the jury was not informed that his former accountant, Kenneth Starr, who was a key witness against him, was being investigated for engaging in "criminal activities of conspiring to evade income taxes" with another client .
Snipes' lawyer is arguing the jury should have known about Starr's investigation because then they wouldn't have believed his testimony against the actor.
A new date for Snipes' surrender will not be set until several pending motions in the case are ruled on.