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Wesley Snipes Remains Strong Ahead of Jail Sentence

November 22, 2010 (3:36 am) GMT
The actor said through his lawyer that he was shocked by the judge's decision that he must turn himself immediately but is staying on the positive side of this.
Wesley Snipes

Actor is remaining "strong and positive" ahead of his three-year jail sentence for tax evasion, according to his lawyer. The "Blade" star was found guilty of failing to file returns when he stood trial in 2008, but his lawyers appealed the verdict and he was freed on bail to challenge the ruling.

He lost the appeal in July and was due to surrender to authorities on September 2 - but U.S. District Court Judge Terrell Hodges granted him a postponement pending a retrial hearing this month. On Tuesday, November 16, Snipes' lawyer Daniel Meachum argued jurors in the 2008 trial had been biased against the star, amid allegations three members of the jury had made up their minds about the case before the court battle began.

Judge Hodges rejected the case for a new trial on Friday and Snipes was told he must turn himself in to federal authorities immediately to begin serving his sentence. The actor is "disappointed" about the "shocking" judgment - but is refusing to be downbeat about his impending prison term. Meachum tells the Orlando Sentinel, "It is just shocking. Wesley is very disappointed but staying strong and positive."

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