Tiger King Star Hears His New Jail Sentence

'Joe Exotic,' aka Joseph Maldonado-Passage, gets 21 years instead of 22 in resentencing
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2021 8:32 AM CDT
Updated Jan 29, 2022 5:30 AM CST
Joe Exotic Wants Your Prayers
This file photo provided by the Santa Rosa County Jail in Milton, Fla., shows Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as "Joe Exotic."   (Santa Rosa County Jail via AP, File)

Update: Joseph Maldonado-Passage will be serving a little less time behind bars than expected. On Friday, an Oklahoma City federal judge resentenced the Tiger King star, also known as "Joe Exotic," to 21 years in prison—one year less than the original sentence in his murder-for-hire case, reports People. The resentencing came about because an appeals court found that two separate 2019 convictions should've been lumped together, not considered separately, in his original sentencing. "Please don't make me die in prison waiting for a chance to be free," Maldonado-Passage, accused of trying to have rival Carole Baskin killed, implored the judge Friday, apparently to no avail, per the AP. He also told the court, "You will see that I did not receive a fair trial. The truth was not told," per BuzzFeed News. Baskin tells the outlet she's satisfied with the new sentence. Maldonado-Passage plans to appeal, according to his attorney. Our original story from Nov. 4 follows:

There's renewed urgency for "Joe Exotic" in his push to be freed from prison in Florida: The Tiger King star, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, says he's been diagnosed with a "very" aggressive form of prostate cancer. "It is with a sad face that I have to tell you … that my prostate biopsy came back with an aggressive cancer," Maldonado-Passage writes in a letter provided by attorney John M. Phillips, who says his client has been receiving treatment for a number of issues, per CNN. Maldonado-Passage, who writes that he's still awaiting another test result, notes animal rights activist Carole Baskin, his longtime rival and victim in a murder-for-hire plot, "will have her own party over this," per USA Today.

Maldonado-Passage is awaiting resentencing after his 22-year sentence in the murder-for-hire plot was overturned in July. An appeals court found two separate 2019 convictions should've been grouped together, meaning Joe Exotic is likely to receive a shorter sentence. But the 58-year-old calls instead for compassionate release in his letter, asking for "the world to be my voice to be released." "There is no reason for the US Attorney to drag this out so I can go home and get treatment on my own or enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones," he writes, per USA Today. "Say a prayer please." You'll likely be hearing more about Joe Exotic as Tiger King 2 is arriving Nov. 17 on Netflix. (Baskin is suing over her inclusion in it.)

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