Tiger King Star Joe Exotic Set to be Resentenced in Attempted Murder-for-Hire Plot

share to other networks share to twitter share to facebook

Tiger King star Joe Exotic's resentencing was set for Jan. 28 by a federal judge in Oklahoma.

Joe Exotic, whose actual name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, received a lesser sentence from a federal appeals court in July. The trial court erroneously handled two murder-for-hire convictions separately in calculating his jail term, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver.

The resentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. by District Judge Scott Palk and granted the defendant's request to be transported to Oklahoma City for the hearing.


Court Finds Initial Sentence Erroneous

Maldonado-Passage, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison for an attempted murder-for-hire plot, had his convictions upheld by the appeals court.

However, in July, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the recommended sentence range should have been computed at 17½ years to 21 years, 10 months, rather than the longer range that was used.

Also on Monday, the Justice Department released a consent decree that will prohibit other central figures of the show, Jeff Lowe and his wife, from ever exhibiting animals again.

Maldonado-Passage was convicted of employing someone twice to kill Carole Baskin, an activist who had denounced and sued his business, as well as other animal-related crimes.

Joe Exotic: 'I'm Innocent'

Maldonado-Passage, who maintains his innocence, was also jailed for the killing of five tigers, the sale of tiger pups, and the falsification of wildlife documents.


The former Oklahoma zookeeper's attorneys said last month that he was delaying cancer treatment until after his resentencing. Maldonado-Passage was relocated from a federal medical hospital in Fort Worth, TX, to a federal medical center in Butner, North Carolina, after he announced in November that he has prostate cancer.

The owners of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and Tiger King Park, who succeeded Maldonado-Passage, agreed to transfer their rights to 97 endangered or threatened species and 47 additional animals listed by the Animal Welfare Act in a separate action.

In two searches last May and August, federal agents took 97 endangered species from Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma, including 68 big cats and a jaguar. The Lowes was charged by federal officials with injuring and harassing the animals.

Maldonado-Passage appeared in Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, a Netflix original series.