Actor Wesley Snipes has filed documents with a Florida court requesting a new trial, claiming jury misconduct.
Snipes lawyers said in the filing that they received e-mails from two jurors who said that three other jurors had already made up their minds before the trial that the Blade actor was guilty. The e-mails claim the other jurors told us [Snipes] was guilty before they even heard the first piece of evidence, according to TMZ.
Snipes also claimed the jury should have been informed that one of the prosecution witnesses against him, his former accountant Kenneth Starr (not to be confused with the independent counsel who investigated former President Bill Clinton), was being investigated for criminal activities of conspiring to evade taxes.
Snipes was convicted in February 2008 of three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file his tax returns for 1999, 2000 and 2001, and sentenced to three years in prison, but he was acquitted of felony tax charges. He lost an appeal in July, but has so far remained free on bond (see Appeals Court Upholds Wesley Snipes Tax Conviction). Earlier this month a judge granted him the ability to file a motion for a new trial (see Judge Grants Snipes Ability to File Motion for New Trial).
Separately, Snipes former co-defendant, Eddie Ray Kahn, who sold illegal tax evasion schemes to Snipes and other clients through his company American Rights Litigators/Guiding Light of God Ministries, was sentenced on Monday to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit mail fraud, and one count of mail fraud. Three of Kahns colleagues also received 10-year prison terms on Monday. Kahn had been previously sentenced to a 10-year term when he was convicted with Snipes in 2008.
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