Joe Exotic, star of ‘Tiger King’, will spend 1 year less in prison

A judge lowered this Friday to 21 years the sentence of Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, the exotic animal collector known as “Joe Exotic” and protagonist of the popular Netflix series “tiger-king“, for planning to kill an animal welfare advocate, Carole Baskin.

A federal judge reviewed the sentence of the “Tiger King” star today in Oklahoma City, the capital of the homonymous state, due to an appeal for the way the sentences were calculated when in 2020 he was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

In 2018 Maldonado-Passage, the former owner of the Greater Wynnewood Animal Park, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of planning a murder-for-hire.

Later, in January 2020, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison after being found guilty of trying to hire two different men to kill Carole Baskin, owner of a big cat sanctuary in Florida.

Both “Joe Exotic” and Baskin were the stars of “Tiger King”, the Netflix series released in 2020.

According to the internet description of the audiovisual platform itself about the plot of the series, “a zoo owner loses control amid a cast of eccentric characters in this true story of murder for hire from the underworld of big cat breeding ”.

While in prison, Maldonado-Passage revealed in November 2021 that an “aggressive cancer” was discovered after undergoing a prostate exam and he unsuccessfully asked to be released.

Maldonado-Passage took advantage of his popularity to ask then-US President Donald Trump (2017-2021) for a presidential pardon, which was not granted.

According to ABC News today. the reason for the revision of the sentence was that in the first trial the two crimes for which he was accused were treated separately and, therefore, it was not calculated correctly the penalty that should be imposed.

The US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit agreed with Maldonado-Passage that the court should have treated them as a single conviction at sentencing because they both involved the same goal of killing the 60-year-old Baskin.

Baskin, who ran a big cat rescue sanctuary in Florida, had criticized Maldonado-Passage’s treatment of the animals.

As reported today by local Channel 4 citing the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma, Maldonado-Passage offered a person $3,000 to travel from Oklahoma to Florida to carry out Baskin’s murder and ” allegedly agreed to pay thousands more after the fact.”

Lawyers for Maldonado-Passage have said their client, who once operated a zoo in Wynnewood, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) south of Oklahoma City, was not serious.

Maldonado-Passage, who has thus far maintained his innocence, was also indicted by a grand jury on an additional 19 wildlife charges, including violating the Endangered Species Act.

The prosecution argues that he shot and killed five tigers in October 2017 to make room in cages for other big cats, and sold tiger cubs to raise money.

Keep reading

• ‘Tiger King’: Netflix star Joe Exotic reveals he has ‘aggressive cancer’
• They give Netflix the green light with ‘Tiger King 2’ despite Carole Baskin’s lawsuit
• ‘Tiger King 2’: Carole Baskin sues Netflix before the premiere of the documentary