Court orders shorter sentence for ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic

DENVER (AP) — A federal appeals court is ordering a shorter sentence for “Tiger King” Joe Exotic.

Joe Maldonado, Joe Schreibvoge Maldonado

FILE – In this Aug. 28, 2013, file photo, Joseph Maldonado answers a question during an interview at the zoo he runs in Wynnewood, Okla. Federal prosecutors on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, announced that the zookeeper, also known as “Joe Exotic,” and candidate for governor earlier this year, has been charged in a murder-for-hire scheme alleging he tried to hire someone to kill a Florida woman. Prosecutors allege Maldonado-Passage tried to hire two separate people to kill the woman, who wasn’t harmed. Maldonado-Passage finished third in a three-way Libertarian primary in June. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Denver’s 10th Circuit appeals court ruled Wednesday that the trial court wrongly calculated the sentence for Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage.

The zookeeper known for his expletive-laden rants on YouTube was sentenced to 22 years behind bars after being convicted for violating federal wildlife laws and a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his chief rival.

He tried to hire two different men to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin.

The appeals court say those convictions should have been grouped together in calculating his sentence.

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