It looks like the roles have reversed for the star of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness Joe Exotic. The 58-year-old is currently imprisoned following his murder-for-hire-plot against his archenemies and prominent animal rights activist Carole Baskin. Scroll below for all the details on Joe’s sentence and where he is today.
When Did Joe Exotic Go to Jail?
In September 2018, the former zookeeper was arrested for paying $3,000 to a zoo handyman Allen Glover in exchange for killing the owner of Big Cat Rescue. In April 2019, a jury found Joe guilty of 21 counts, including plotting to kill his rival in addition to various counts of animal abuse such as selling tigers without a federal permit and killing five tigers.
Joe has maintained his innocence and stated he “put five tigers to sleep because they were in pain,” in November 2018. “They were in pain. They had toenails coming out of their ankles. They had no teeth. They had exposed root canals.”
How Long Will He Be in Jail?
The former presidential candidate was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison in January 2020. According to court documents obtained by In Touch, prosecutors were seeking a sentence between 27 and 35 years. Carole and her husband, Howard Baskin, were pleased with the outcome of his sentence. “Justice was served and we were particularly pleased with the emphasis the judge put on the wildlife charges and on using this sentence as a deterrent to others,” Carole wrote in a statement shared to her website. “I am greatly relieved that Joe Exotic, who I feel is a vicious, obsessed man, can no longer harm innocent people or animals.”
By July 2021, a federal appeals court ruled that Maldonado should receive a shorter sentence for his role in the murder-for-hire plot and violating wildlife laws and that he be re-sentenced, per the Associated Press.
Where is Joe Exotic Today?
While Joe is behind bars, the Tiger King filed a federal lawsuit against the FBI in March 2020. He is seeking a total of $94 million from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several of his former colleagues, according to court docs obtained by In Touch. Days later, the big cat lover issued a call for a pardon from President Trump and announced his plans to sue on his Facebook page.
“This lawsuit has been filed in the name of justice, the Trump Administration must be made aware of the overreach, perjury, abuse of power and the failure to uphold the oath of their position which is truth and justice for all,” his statement reads. “I have been illegally charged with these crimes and the Trump Administration, the United States Department of Interior along with the Federal Wildlife service must be held accountable for what they have done to me, my parents and my family, along with my animals.” It looks like the saga of the Tiger King is far from over.
The Netflix personality revealed he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in November 2021.
“Doctors called me in today to break the news that my prostate biopsy came back with an aggressive cancer, Carole Will have her own party over this! Say a prayer everyone & be my voice,” Maldonado’s official Twitter account shared at the time, alongside a snap of a handwritten letter.
In his note, the former Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park owner expressed his plea for an early prison release amid his cancer battle.
“What I need is the world to be my voice to be released,” his note read at the time. “They have the proof I did not do this and there is no reason for the U.S. attorney to drag this out so I can go home and get treatment on my own or enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones.”
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