Judge orders Wesley Snipes to start prison term

ORLANDO: Senior U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges has ordered Wesley Snipes report to the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his 36-month sentence on tax charges after he denied the actor’s motion for a new trial and permission to interview jurors Friday.

It’s likely Snipes will appeal that ruling.

“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,” the judge wrote in his 17-page ruling.

Snipes, who was found guilty by jury in Ocala in February 2008 on three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay income tax, raised the possibility some jurors may have pre-judged his guilt.

He also sought a new trial based on the credibility of a government witness, Kenneth I. Starr, who was his former tax adviser.

These motions were argued before the judge Monday at the Ocala federal courthouse.

A federal court of appeals upheld Snipes’ convictions and 36-month sentence in July.

The one motion Hodges did grant Friday was the government’s motion to revoke Snipes’ bail pending resolution on these motions.

Snipes’ Atlanta lawyer, Daniel Meachum, had told the Star-Banner following Monday’s arguments that in the event Hodges denies his motions, he will appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Middle District U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill said, even in the event Snipes files an appeal, he expects he will be required to report to prison per a written order.

“Unless something unusual happens, this brings some finality to the case,” he said.

“There has to come a point in time where the sentence was imposed and that’s what appears is going to happen now,” O’Neill said.

The clerk’s office in the Ocala division of the Middle District said Snipes will receive a notice either from the Bureau of Prisons or U.S. Marshals Office about where he needs to report and when.

He can be put in any facility in the country. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Edmond Ross said that process usually takes from two days to a week.

The booking would occur “within 48 hours of when we receive all the necessary information from the U.S. Marshals and Probation (office),” he said.

The Bureau of Prisons web page shows Snipes’s name and register number already has been entered; under location, he as listed as, “In transit.”

Placement in a facility is determined on “security needs, their offense, length of sentence, type of detainers against them from other jurisdictions, prior commitments, history of escapes, judicial recommendations,” Ross said.

“Our policy is to attempt is to place all inmates within a 500-mile radius of their residence,” he said. “Our records show that (Snipes) is not in our custody at this point.”

According to his Twitter page, Snipes was most recently holding auditions for his next movie, “Master Daddy,” which the actor described to Variety.com in October as “a mix of ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ and ‘Meet the Parents.’ “

According to the entertainment news website, the film is expected to be in production this fall and was scheduled for release in 2011. It’s unclear how this latest wrinkle in Snipes’s efforts for appeal will affect the production of the film.

“There has to come a point in time where the sentence was imposed and that’s what appears is going to happen now,” O’Neill said.

The clerk’s office in the Ocala division of the Middle District said Snipes will receive a notice either from the Bureau of Prisons or U.S. Marshals Office about where he needs to report and when.

He can be put in any facility in the country. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Edmond Ross said that process usually takes from two days to a week.

The booking would occur “within 48 hours of when we receive all the necessary information from the U.S. Marshals and Probation (office),” he said.

The Bureau of Prisons web page shows Snipes’s name and register number already has been entered; under location, he as listed as, “In transit.”

Placement in a facility is determined on “security needs, their offense, length of sentence, type of detainers against them from other jurisdictions, prior commitments, history of escapes, judicial recommendations,” Ross said.

“Our policy is to attempt is to place all inmates within a 500-mile radius of their residence,” he said. “Our records show that (Snipes) is not in our custody at this point.”

According to his Twitter page, Snipes was most recently holding auditions for his next movie, “Master Daddy,” which the actor described to Variety.com in October as “a mix of ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ and ‘Meet the Parents.’ “

According to the entertainment news website, the film is expected to be in production this fall and was scheduled for release in 2011. It’s unclear how this latest wrinkle in Snipes’s efforts for appeal will affect the production of the film.

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Posted on 20/11/2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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