A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that Tiger King’s Joe Exotic should face a shorter jail sentence for his role in a murder conspiracy and for breaking federal wildlife laws.
Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, and was the star of a docusery that became a big hit during the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in prison federal government after being convicted of trying to hire two different men to kill Carole Baskin, owner of the animal shelter.
A three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver, Colo. Found that the trial court erroneously treated these two convictions separately in calculating his prison sentence in accordance with sentencing guidelines.
The panel agreed with Exotic that the court should have treated them as one conviction when 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 Exotic to something between 17 and a half years and just under 22 years in prison, rather than between just under 22 and 27 years in prison. The court ordered the lower court to convict Exotic.
The controversial zookeeper, known for his swear words on YouTube and a failed 2018 campaign for governor of Oklahoma, has featured prominently in the popular Netflix real-life crime series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.
Authorities last year withdrew the license from Oklahoma’s vast private zoo where exotic tigers bred tigers, allowed visitors to photograph baby tigers, and sometimes struggled to have the resources to feed all of the animals. , as shown in the TV series.