A federal judge resentenced Joe Exotic of Netflix’s “Tiger King” to 21 years in prison on Friday, reducing his punishment by one year.
The updated sentencing comes after Exotic begged the court for leniency as he begins treatment for prostate cancer.
Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder-for-hire for the plot to kill animal welfare activist Carole Baskin. Both appeared as archenemies in the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”
Friday’s resentencing came about after a federal appeals court ruled last year that the sentence Exotic is serving on the murder-for-hire conviction should be shortened. According to the Associated Press, the former zookeeper’s supporters packed the courtroom, many of them wearing animal-print masks and shirts that read “Free Joe Exotic.”
In January 2020, Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison after he was convicted of attempting to hire two different men to kill Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida and has been publicly outspoken against Exotic’s animal abuse.
Prosecutors said Exotic offered an undercover FBI agent $10,000 to kill Baskin. In a recorded meeting from December 2017, Exotic tells the agent, “Just like follow her into a mall parking lot and just cap her and drive off.” Exotic’s attorneys insisted he was not being serious.
Baskin, who attended the proceedings with her husband, said she was still fearful that Exotic could threaten her.
“He continues to harbor intense feelings of ill will toward me,” Baskin said.
Exotic was also convicted of killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records.