Joe Exotic, star of Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King, was resentenced to 21 years in prison by a federal judge on Friday, reducing his punishment by just a year despite pleas from the former zookeeper for leniency in light of the commencement of his cancer treatment.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, known as Joe Exotic, was sentenced in a hearing in a case related to his alleged attempts to murder animal welfare activist and rival, Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin.
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Speaking ahead of the resentencing hearing, Baskin told media, “He continues to harbor intense feelings of ill will toward me.”
Exotic, meanwhile, pleaded his case with the court, telling the panel, “Please don’t make me die in prison waiting for a chance to be free.”
However, despite his pleas, the former zookeeper’s original sentence was slashed by only a year.
Exotic was found guilty of having attempted to murder Baskin in 2019, and the court found him guilty of having hired two men to kill Baskin.
Prosecutors hold that Exotic hired two men, including an undercover FBI agent, to dispose of Baskin. The former zookeeper also allegedly paid $10,000 to the FBI agent to get the work done.
“Just like follow her [Baskin] into a mall parking lot and just cap her and drive off,” Exotic had told the agent, according to prosecutors, but the former zookeeper has maintained that he is innocent and that his comments were made in jest.
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Following his conviction in 2019, the 58-year-old zookeeper was sentenced to 22 years in prison, a sentence which he is currently serving in Fort Worth, Texas.
In addition to his attempts to murder Baskin, the 58-year-old has also been convicted of various other charges, including killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records. Prior to his prison sentence, Exotic operated the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (also known as the G.W. Zoo) in Wynnewood, Oklahoma from 1998 to 2018.