Tiger King Star Joe Exotic’s Prison Sentence Vacated

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ComicBook.com 14 July, 2021 - 11:31pm 6 views

Why is Joe exotic in jail?

Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison after being convicted of trying to hire two different men to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin. Associated PressCourt orders shorter sentence for 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic

Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison after being convicted of trying to hire two different men to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin. A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver found that the trial court wrongly treated those two convictions separately in calculating his prison term under sentencing guidelines.

The blond mullet-wearing zookeeper, known for his expletive-laden rants on YouTube and a failed 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign, was prominently featured in the popular Netflix documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

The panel agreed with Maldonado-Passage that the court should have treated them as one conviction at sentencing because they both involved the same goal of killing Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida. According to the ruling, the court should have calculated his advisory sentencing range to be between 17 1/2 years and just under 22 years in prison, rather than between just under 22 years and 27 years in prison. The court ordered the trial court to re-sentence Maldonado-Passage.

It’s possible that Maldonado-Passage could receive an even lower sentence than the range cited in the ruling because the court has to consider other factors too, his appeals attorney, Brandon Sample, said.

Meanwhile, another attorney representing Maldonado-Passage, John M. Phillips, hinted at the possibility of seeking a new trial, saying in a statement he would be filing motions citing previously undisclosed and newly discovered evidence in the case as well as examples of government misconduct.

“People should know what they saw on television isn’t the full truth. It isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. It was snowflakes on the tip of the iceberg, largely manufactured by those who wanted to see Joe Exotic in jail for their own benefit," he said.

Maldonado-Passage, who has maintained his innocence, was also sentenced for killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records.

His supporters were disappointed that former President Donald Trump failed to issue him a pardon before leaving office. They were so confident in his chances that they had readied a celebratory limousine and a hair and wardrobe team to whisk him away from prison.

In his pardon application, Maldonado-Passage’s attorneys argued that he was “railroaded and betrayed” by others and said “he will likely die in prison” because of health concerns. He is serving his sentence at a medical prison in Fort Worth, Texas.

This story has been corrected to say that the appeals court said the trial court should have calculated an advisory sentencing range of between 17 1/2 years and just under 22 years in prison, not that Maldonado-Passage should have been sentenced within that range.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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"Tiger King" star Joe Exotic wants a new beau

FOX59 News 16 July, 2021 - 10:00am

Court orders shorter sentence for 'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic

USA TODAY 16 July, 2021 - 10:00am

It was ruled Wednesday Joe Exotic should get a shorter prison sentence for his role in a murder-for-hire plot and violating federal wildlife laws.

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'Tiger King' star Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, formally requested a pardon, including handwritten letter to President Trump. USA TODAY

DENVER (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that "Tiger King" Joe Exotic should get a shorter prison sentence for his role in a murder-for-hire plot and violating federal wildlife laws. 

Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison after being convicted of trying to hire two different men to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin.

A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver found that the trial court wrongly treated those two convictions separately in calculating his prison term under sentencing guidelines.

The blond mullet-wearing zookeeper, known for his expletive-laden rants on YouTube and a failed 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign, was prominently featured in the popular Netflix documentary "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness."

The panel agreed with Maldonado-Passage that the court should have treated them as one conviction at sentencing because they both involved the same goal of killing Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida.

According to the ruling, the court should have sentenced Maldonado-Passage, 58, to somewhere between 17 1/2 years and just under 22 years in prison, rather than between just under 22 years and 27 years in prison. The court ordered the trial court to re-sentence Maldonado-Passage.

Maldonado-Passage, who has maintained his innocence, was also sentenced for killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records. 

His supporters were disappointed that former President Donald Trump failed to issue him a pardon before leaving office. They were so confident in his chances that they had readied a celebratory limousine and a hair and wardrobe team to whisk him away from prison.

In his pardon application, Maldonado-Passage's attorneys argued that he was "railroaded and betrayed" by others and said "he will likely die in prison" because of health concerns. He is serving his sentence at a medical prison in Fort Worth, Texas.

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© 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

‘Tiger King’ star Joe Exotic sentencing change: Why is he locked up?

Deseret News 16 July, 2021 - 10:00am

A federal appeals court ruled that ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic should get a shorter prison sentence for his role in a murder-for-hire plot

“Tiger King” Joe Exotic may get a shorter prison sentence for his role in a murder-for-hire plot, which was the focus of a popular Netflix documentary in 2020, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The panel said the two convictions should have been treated as one conviction because they were a part of the same murder-for-hire plot.

The Associated Press reports the panel said the sentencing should range from 17.5 years to under 22 years — rather than the 22 to 27 years of the original sentence.

That’s unlikely. Randy Zelin, head of the criminal justice department at New York-based law firm Wilk Auslander told Yahoo Entertainment this case is different than the Bill Cosby case — where his sentencing was overturned because he had agreed to an immunity deal — and Exotic will remain behind bars.

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Appeals Court Overturns Joe Exotic's Sentence in Murder-for-Hire Plot

Out Magazine 16 July, 2021 - 10:00am

Appeals Court Overturns Joe Exotic’s Sentence in Murder-for-Hire Plot

The court said his sentence was too long, but that he was still guilty of trying to hire someone to kill his nemesis Carole Baskin.

Joe Exotic, the zookeeper convicted of masterminding a murder-for-hire plot of animal rights activist Carole Baskin, had his sentence overturned by a Court of Appeals in Denver on Wednesday, but the mullet-coifed gay star of the Netflix docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness won’t be escaping jail any time soon.

The 10th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado ruled the lower court had erred in sentencing Exotic (whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage) for the double murder attempts. Instead of calculating prison terms for the convictions separately, the court should have instead considered the two crimes as one conviction for sentencing since they both involved the same goal of murdering his rival and nemesis, Baskin.

“We agree with Maldonado-Passage that the district court should have grouped the two counts,” the court said in its ruling, agreeing with Exotic’s appeal.

Exotic had been sentenced to a sentence of roughly 22 to 27 years in prison when the appropriate combined sentence should have been between 17 1/2 and 22 years instead. While the court vacated the sentencing, there was no disputing Exotic was guilty.

“For the foregoing reasons, we affirm Maldonado-Passage’s conviction but vacate the sentence and remand for resentencing,” the Court of Appeals ruled.

The out and outlandish Exotic ran the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. The zoo housed around 200 big cats including tigers, lions, and pumas as well as ligers and tigons. He was accused by many animal rights activists, including Baskin, of misuse of animals, including staging shows where the audience could pet small cubs and animals. The feud was the centerpiece of the Netflix reality series and the motivation for his multiple efforts to hire someone to kill Baskin.

Exotic was never shy about his sexuality on the Netflix show and was married multiple times. His first partner, Brian Rhyne, died of complications from HIV in 2001, and another marriage saw him wed his two partners simultaneously. One of his former husbands, Dillon Passage, earlier this month let fans know he had already moved on from Exotic, introducing his new boyfriend via Instagram.

"Everyone, meet John," Passage wrote on Instagram.

Exotic also ran as an Independent Party candidate for president in 2016. He made the ballot in Colorado and received 962 votes. In 2018, he finished third out of three candidates in the Independent Party primary for Governor of Oklahoma.

It was announced last year that Kate McKinnon will head a new series about the life of Exotic entitled Joe Exotic and star John Cameron Mitchell in the title role.

The 58-year-old Exotic was convicted by a jury for the double murder attempts and other charges in April of 2019 and was sentenced in January of last year. He remains in custody while his case is returned to the lower court for resentencing.

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