Court docket orders shorter sentence for ‘Tiger King’ Joe Unique | lifestyle


DENVER (AP) – A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that Tiger King Joe Exotic should receive a shorter sentence for his role in an attempted murder and for violating federal wildlife laws.

Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced to 22 years federal prison in January 2020 after attempting to hire two different men to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin. A three-judge panel for the US 10th District Court of Appeals in Denver found that the court incorrectly treated these two convictions separately when calculating its sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines.

The blonde mullet-carrying zookeeper, known for his swearwords on YouTube and a failed 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign, was featured prominently 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 a conviction when convicted, as they both had the same goal of killing Baskin, who runs a big cat rescue center in Florida. According to the judgment, the court should have calculated its advisory range of sentences between 17 1/2 years and almost 22 years imprisonment rather than between almost 22 years and 27 years imprisonment. The court ordered the court of first instance to re-convict Maldonado-Passage.

It is possible that Maldonado-Passage could receive an even lower sentence than the range cited in the judgment, as the court must also consider other factors, his appellate attorney Brandon Sample said.

Meanwhile, another lawyer representing Maldonado Passage, John M. Phillips, hinted at the possibility of a new trial and said in a statement that he would file motions involving previously undisclosed and newly discovered evidence in the case and examples of government wrongdoing are cited.

“People should know that what they saw on TV isn’t the whole truth. It’s not even the tip of the iceberg. It was snowflakes on the tip of the iceberg, mostly made by those who wanted to see Joe Exotic in jail for their own benefit, “he said.

Maldonado Passage, who pleaded innocence, was also convicted of killing five tigers, selling baby tigers and forging wildlife records.

His supporters were disappointed that former President Donald Trump had not granted him a pardon before leaving. So certain of his chances they had prepared a ceremonial limousine and a hairdressing and cloakroom team to get him out of prison.

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


That story was corrected so that the appeals court said the court should have calculated an advisory penalty range between 17 1/2 years and just under 22 years in prison, not that Maldonado-Passage should have been convicted in this area.

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