Tiger King Star Joe Exotic's Prison Sentence Vacated

Exotic is two years into a 22-year prison sentence, but that could be shortened due to a technicality.


Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced to 22 years in prison on multiple charges, including trying to get his rival Carole Baskin killed, which was a topic explored in Netflix's 2019 documentary series Tiger King. Even though the attempt failed, he was still charged and has been serving out a 22-year sentence, but that could end up being several months or years shorter.

Oklahoma district court judge Gregory Phillips vacated Tiger King star Joe Exotic's prison sentence Wednesday and ordered his resentencing. The judge had reaffirmed Exotic's 2018 federal indictment on 21 counts including wildlife crimes and two murder-for-hire plots.

However, he said that because Baskin had attended the trial proceedings, that charge did not group Exotic's two murder-for-hire convictions involving the same victim together--which is required by federal guidelines--Exotic's current conviction must be vacated.

Exotic had allegedly paid Alan Glover, one of his employees, $3,000 to kill Baskin though Glover had testified that he did not intend to follow through with the plan. After this failed attempt though, the prosecution says Exotic offered $10,000 to an undercover FBI agent to kill Baskin during a meeting that was recorded and played for the jury. According to the court document, in the recording, he told the agent, "Just like follow her into a mall parking lot and just cap her and drive off."

The Netflix series made Exotic and his story part of the cultural zeitgeist last year right when the pandemic started to kick off with over 64 million views on the streaming service.

Joe Exotic's story is also the center of a television series with Kate McKinnon, and was intended to be an Amazon production starring Nic Cage, but that has officially been dropped.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are no comments about this story