On January 28, 2022, a U.S. federal judge resentenced Tiger King star Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage (aka Joe Exotic) to 21 years in prison. The updated sentence only shaves off a year from Maldonado-Passage’s original ruling in 2020.
Exotic, who had been delaying his prostate cancer treatment for the appeal to be freed, told the judge on Friday:
“Please don’t make me die in prison waiting for a chance to be free.”
The resentencing comes after the appeals court stated that the previous sentencing was wrong. In July 2021, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals claimed that Maldonado-Passage’s original sentence of 22 years was incorrect, as the trial cited two “Murder for hire” charges during the calculation of his prison sentence. According to the appeals court, both murder conspiracy charges should have been clubbed as one, as the plan’s end goal was to kill Baskin in both cases.
What are the charges against Joe Exotic?
Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2020 for plotting the assassination of Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue. He was charged with two charges of murder-for-hire, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.
Exotic plotted to have Carole Baskin murdered over their alleged “feud.” As per the charges, the Tiger King reportedly offered $5,000 to his zoo’s maintenance man at the time to kill Baskin. Later, he also attempted to hire an undercover FBI agent to murder the 60-year-old animal rights activist. He reportedly offered the agent $10,000 during a meeting in 2017.
Furthermore, in 2013, the 58-year-old former zoo-owner was ordered to pay Carole Baskin $1 million for using logos and images, which infringed on the rights of the IPs owned by Big Cat Rescue.
In mid-2020, Baskin was awarded Joe Exotic’s G.W. Zoo in Oklahoma due to her lawsuit against him. She sold the zoo in August last year, with a condition for it to never be used as a zoo or Tiger King-related event again.
What did Joe Exotic’s alleged ‘nemesis’ Carole Baskin say about the resentencing?
As per the Associated Press, Carole Baskin attended the resentencing proceedings along with her second husband, Howard Baskin. She told the judge:
“He continues to harbor intense feelings of ill will toward me.”
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Later, Baskin tweeted that she was satisfied with the resentence and deemed the judge “fair.” Meanwhile, Joe Exotic’s lawyer, John Phillips, tweeted that they would appeal again to shorten Maldonado-Passage’s sentence.