A federal district court has given actor Wesley Snipes the ability to file a motion for a new trial in his tax evasion case within 20 days.
Last month, an appeals court affirmed Snipess conviction on three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file his tax returns for three years, and upheld his three-year prison sentence (see Appeals Court Upholds Wesley Snipes Tax Conviction). On Thursday, however, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, where he was originally convicted, issued an order in the case.
The order, found on the TaxProf blog, noted that since the date of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals opinion, a number of motions have been filed in the case. The federal government has filed a motion to revoke Snipess bail. The Blade star has been on bail since his conviction in February 2008. Snipes, in turn, has filed two motion to interview the jurors who decided the case, and he has filed a motion for bail in response to the governments motion to revoke his bail.
U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges said that in light of his motion for bail, he may, if he so chooses, file a motion for a new trial within 20 days of Thursdays order. The government may then file a response to his motion for a new trial within 20 days of service. The court will then reserve a ruling on all motions until receipt of a mandate, and until all pending motions (including any anticipated motion for new trial) are fully briefed and ripe for disposition.
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