Oklahoma.- A federal judge resentenced “Tiger King” Joe Exotic to 21 years in prison on Friday, reducing his punishment in just one year Despite pleas for mercy from the former zookeeper while starting cancer treatment.
Please don’t make me die prison waiting for a chance to be free,” he told a federal judge who sentenced him again on a murder-for-hire charge.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passagewas convicted in a case involving animal welfare activist Carole Baskin. They both appeared inTiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” from Netflix.
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Maldonado-PassageWearing an orange convict jumpsuit, he still had his trademark mullet hairstyle, but the bleached blonde was fading to gray.
Baskin and her husband also attended the process and said she feared that Maldonado-Passage I could threaten her.
Friday’s court proceedings came after a federal appeals court ruled last year that the prison term he is serving for a murder-for-hire conviction should be shortened.
Supporters packed the courtroom, some wearing animal-print masks and T-shirts that read “Free Joe Exotic”. His lawyers said they would appeal both the new sentence and the request for a new trial.
The former zookeeper was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in prison after being found guilty of trying to hire two different men to kill Baskin.
A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit U.Sagreed 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 Baskinwho runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida and had criticized the treatment of Maldonado-Passage to the animals.
Prosecutors said that Maldonado-Passage offered $10,000 to an undercover FBI agent to kill Baskin during a recorded meeting in December 2017. On the recording, he told the agent, “Just like following her into a mall parking lot, just cover her up and walk away.”
The lawyers of Maldonado-Passage have told you that your client, who once operated a zoo in Wynnewood, Okla. about 65 miles (105 kilometers) south of Oklahoma City, he wasn’t serious.
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Maldonado-Passagewho maintains his innocence, was also convicted of killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records.
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