A federal appeals court has ruled that Joe Exotic’s prison term for his role in plotting to kill rival Carole Baskin should be reduced.
Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage rose to notoriety following the release of Netflix’s hit 2020 documentary Tiger King.
Exotic was arrested in September, 2018, for hiring two different men to murder big cat welfare activist Baskin – his arch-nemesis and the bisexual owner of Big Cat Rescue.
He was also convicted on eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act, and was sentenced to 22 years in prison in January, 2020.
But now, the US court of appeals for the 10th circuit in Denver, Colorado, has ruled that his prison term should be reduced.
The trial court treated the two hitmen Exotic hired to kill Baskin as separate incidents when calculating his sentence, according to The Guardian.
But the appeals court has now said they should be considered one conviction, as both incidents had the same goal – murdering Baskin.
Exotic was initially sentenced on the understanding that he should be behind bars for between just under 22 years and 27 years. This range has now been adjusted to between 17 and a half years and just under 22 years.
The appeals court has ordered that Exotic be re-sentenced, but even with a reduced prison term, he will still be in his seventies when he is released.
Carole Baskin declined to comment.
Joe Exotic’s husband Dillon Passage recently announced their divorce
In April this year, Joe Exotic’s husband Dillon Passage announced that he and the Tiger King star had filed for divorce.
The 24-year-old bartender, who has stayed faithful to his 58-year-old husband while he’s been behind bars, wrote on Instagram: “This wasn’t an easy decision to make but Joe and I both understand that this situation isn’t fair to either of us. It’s something that neither of us were expecting but we are going to take it day by day.
“We are on good terms still and I hope it can stay that way. I will continue to have Joe in my life and do my best to support him while he undergoes further legal battles to better his situation.”