A federal judge will resentence “Joe Exotic” the “Tiger King” on January 28, following a successful appeal. Joe Exotic was sentenced to more than 20 years for assorted wildlife violations and other offenses. His sentence is expected to be lowered at resentencing. He has been held in federal medical prison facilities because he is suffering from cancer.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, ran an exotic wildlife park in Oklahoma. He became embroiled in a feud that led to his eventual arrest by federal authorities and closure of the park.
He was convicted of plotting a pair of murders-for-hire because he wanted to have a woman killed who ran a wildlife rescue operation. The two were embroiled in a legal dispute. Maldonado-Passage also killed five tigers and sold cubs. Authorities found he falsified wildlife records. His lawyers appealed his sentence, arguing it was miscalculated. Two murder-for-hire convictions were sentenced separately not as one sentencing offence. In July, an appeals court agreed that the sentence was too long. He is expected to receive a shorter sentence.
The lurid story of feuds and death plots became a Netflix series. Meanwhile, authorities worked to relocate the hundreds of tigers, bears and other animals held at the park. Living conditions at the park were substandard. The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg Colorado received many of the animals. The sanctuary operates on 10,000 acres in Texas and Colorado. They have accepted 141 animals so far.
Maldonado-Passage sold the facility. The new owners were unable to meet quality standards and another 97 animals will need to be relocated.