Jill Bled and Sean Murphy, Associated Press
Published Friday, January 28, 2022 6:05 AM EST
Last updated Friday, January 28, 2022 9:06 PM EST
Oklahoma City (AP) – A federal judge Friday jailed “Tiger King” Joe Exotic to 21 years in prison, reducing his sentence to just one year for the mercy of the former zookeeper because he was diagnosed with early-stage cancer. treatment was started.
“Please don’t let me die in prison waiting for my chance to be free,” he said tearfully from a federal judge who had angered him on a charge of murder in the rent.
Joe Exotic – whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage – was convicted in a case involving animal welfare activist Carole Baskin. Both were featured in Netflix’s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness”.
Wearing an orange gel jumpsuit, Maldonado-Passage, 58, still had her trademark mullet hairstyle, but had turned bleach-blonde brown and gray.
Baskin and her husband, Howard Baskin, also joined the proceedings, and said they feared that Maldonado-Passage might threaten them.
“He harbors intense feelings of ill-will towards me,” she told the judge.
Baskin said that even with Maldonado-Passage in prison, he has been receiving “vile, abusive and threatening communications” over the past two years. She told the judge that she believed Maldonado-Passage posed an even more serious threat to her now because of the popularity of the Netflix series she has a larger group of supporters.
Maldonado-Passage’s lawyers told the judge that his client has stage-one prostate cancer, as well as a disease that compromises his immune system, making him particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 .
Stage-I prostate cancer means that it is detected early and has not spread. Maldonado-Passage previously said he planned to delay treatment until after his displeasure. Federal officials have said Maldonado-Passage will require up to eight weeks of radiation treatment and will be unable to travel while undergoing treatment.
His lawyer, Amy Hanna, told the judge that he was not receiving proper medical care within the federal prison system and that a long prison sentence was “a death sentence for Joe that he does not deserve.”
Prosecutors also told the judge on Friday that Maldonado-Passage received a disciplinary writing in September for possessing a banned cellphone and unauthorized headphones that were not included in his pre-conviction report. Palk said Maldonado-Passage had four previous disciplinary articles, though he described them as “relatively minor and not violent”.
Friday’s court proceedings came as a federal appeals court ruled last year that he was serving a prison sentence on a conviction for murder, which should be shortened.
Supporters packed the courtroom, some wearing animal-print masks and shirts that read “Free Joe Exotic.” His lawyers said they would appeal the protest and petition for a new trial.
Lawyer Molly Parmer told reporters after the hearing, “The defense submitted a series of attachments that show excessive government involvement in the creation of the crime for which he has been convicted.”
“We are going to continue with our post-conviction trial, but we previewed the evidence for the court that we have through our post-conviction investigation.”
The former zookeeper was sentenced to 22 years in prison in January 2020 after he was convicted of trying to hire two separate men to kill Baskin. A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Maldonado-Passage that the court should treat them as a punishment upon conviction because they both involve the same goal of killing Baskin, which is a major Runs a rescue sanctuary for cats. Florida and Maldonado-Passage’s treatment of animals was criticized.
Prosecutors said Maldonado-Passage offered an undercover FBI agent $10,000 to kill Baskin during a record meeting in December 2017. In the recording, he told the agent, “Just like following him into a mall parking lot and just capping him and driving.” Lawyers for Maldonado-Passage have said that his client — who operated a zoo in Wynwood, Oklahoma, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) south of Oklahoma City — was not serious.
Maldonado-Passage, who maintained his innocence, was also convicted of killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records.
Bleeds were reported from Little Rock, Arkansas.