By Chris King • 28 January 2022 • 20:59
A federal judge in an Oklahoma City courtroom, today, Friday, January 28, resentenced Netflix documentary star ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic to 21 years in prison. Under his real name of Joseph Maldonado-Passage, his legal team had appealed for the former zookeeper’s sentence to be dismissed.
Exotic was sent to prison for 22 years back in January 2020, after a high-profile court case, in which he was found guilty in a ‘murder-for-hire’ case. His ongoing feud with rival big-cat keeper Carole Baskin, who was openly criticising his perceived mistreatment of animals, led to his allegedly hiring two separate people to kill her.
One of those he tied to recruit turned out to be an FBI agent working undercover. Baskin ran another animal sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue, in Florida, and was in attendance at the hearing today, to witness the judge knock just one year off his original sentence.
Maldonado-Passage is serving his time in a federal medical center in Butner, North Carolina, where he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He will now reportedly receive treatment for it there at the facility.
In his original hearing, the court heard how during a secretly recorded meeting in December 2017, Maldonado-Passage had unexpectedly offered the undercover FBI agent $10,000 (€8,950), to kill his rival. “Just like follow her into a mall parking lot and just cap her and drive off”, he instructed him.
In a sentencing memorandum, his lawyers wrote, “From decisions made in the initial stages of the investigation, to charging decisions to overzealous sentencing recommendations, one thing remains clear: this case was about doing whatever it took to put Mr. Maldonado-Passage behind bars for as long as possible”.
Court records showed that federal prosecutors had stated that because of the allegations he raised, they would defer recommending a new sentence against him.
U.S. Attorney Robert Troester wrote, “In the unlikely event that any of these claims withstand scrutiny, and ultimately are determined to be credible, those developments could impact the United States’ ultimate sentencing recommendation’ because the prosecutors are obligated to investigate them”, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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