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‘Tiger King’ star Joe Exotic resentenced to 21 years in prison

A federal judge resentenced Joe Exotic but it didn’t provide much respite

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Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, is seen at the zoo he used to run in Wynnewood, Okla., on Aug. 28, 2013. A federal judge resentenced Maldonado-Passage after an appeals court ruled last year that the prison term he’s serving on a murder-for-hire conviction should be shortened.

Sue Ogrocki, Associated Press

A federal judge has resentenced Joseph Maldonado-Passage — popularly known Joe Exotic — to 21 years in prison for a murder-for-hire plot that targeted Carole Baskin, an animal activist who rivaled the Tiger King in his business, according to CBS News.

The resentencing shaved off one year off the original 22-year sentence.

  • “Please don’t make me die in prison waiting for a chance to be free,” he tearfully said to the federal judge, per The Associated News.
  • Maldonado-Passage, 58, still has his trademark mullet, though the bleach-blond has faded away, leaving him with brown and grey hair.

Per The New York Times, his lawyer, John M. Phillips, said, “We are unsatisfied with the court’s decision and will appeal.”

Baskin and her husband, Howard Baskin, were also at the proceedings.

  • “He continues to harbor intense feelings of ill will toward me,” Carole Baskin told the judge, adding that she has continued to receive “vile, abusive and threatening communications” since Maldonado-Passage went to jail, per the report.

He was convicted in 2019 on 21 counts, which include wildlife crimes and hiring hitmen.

  • In 2020, he received his 22-year sentence.
  • He has always maintained his innocence and fueled public campaigns.
  • Maldonado-Passage did not receive a pardon from President Donald J. Trump in 2021, as previously reported by Deseret News.
  • In November, Maldonado-Passage was diagnosed with stage one prostate cancer, which has been detected early and hasn’t spread.