A federal judge resentenced “Tiger King” star Joe Exotic on Friday, reducing the initial punishment by one year of imprisonment.
The Netflix series star, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, pleaded with the judge not to make him “die in prison,” apparently referring to his prostate cancer diagnosis, The Associated Press reported.
Maldonado-Passage’s attorney Amy Hanna told the judge that the lengthy prison sentence that her client received was equal to a “death sentence for Joe” due to the lack of access to medical care he needed, according to the AP.
BREAKING: A federal judge resentenced “Tiger King” Joe Exotic to 21 years in prison, rejecting pleas from the former zookeeper to free him from prison. Joe Exotic was convicted in a murder-for-hire case involving animal welfare activist Carole Baskin. https://t.co/aEOQsXZW4C
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 28, 2022
“The defense submitted a series of attachments that showed excessive government involvement in the creation of the offense for which he’s been convicted,” attorney Molly Parmer said following the hearing, the AP reported.
The Friday decision followed a July 2021 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit that said the original sentencing was erroneous due to treating the two convictions separately. (RELATED: ‘Tiger King’ Stars Ordered To Turn Over Big Cat Cubs After Alleged Abuse)
Maldonado-Passage was sentenced to 22 years in prison for masterminding a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his longtime critic and animal rights activist Carole Baskin, according to NBC News.
Baskin and her husband were in attendance at the Friday hearing. Making a statement to the judge, Baskin accused Maldonado-Passage of harboring “intense feelings of ill will toward me” and claimed that the defendant constituted an even graver threat to her safety now, as he had acquired a more sizable follower base due to “Tiger King’s” popularity.