OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A federal judge in Oklahoma has set January 28 as the date for the new conviction of “Tiger King” Joe Exotic on Monday.
U.S. District Judge Scott Palk set the new sentence at 10 a.m. and granted the accused’s request to be transported to Oklahoma City for the hearing.
A federal appeals court ruled in July that Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, should get a shorter sentence. The United States Court of Appeals for the Denver 10th Circuit determined that the trial court improperly treated two pay murder convictions separately in calculating his prison sentence.
Maldonado-Passage was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in prison. But the appeals court said the court should have calculated its range of advisory sentences to be between 17 and a half years and just under 22 years in prison, rather than between just under 22 and 27 years in prison.
Maldonado-Passage, who claims his innocence, was also convicted of killing five tigers, selling baby tigers and falsifying wildlife records.
Lawyers for the former Oklahoma zookeeper last month said he was delaying cancer treatment until his new conviction. Maldonado-Passage announced in November that he was suffering from prostate cancer and he was transferred from a federal medical center in Fort Worth, Texas to a federal medical center in Butner, North Carolina.
In a separate action, a couple who took over from Maldonado-Passage in operating the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Wildlife Park and Tiger King Park agreed to surrender their rights to 97 endangered or threatened animals and 47 others. animals covered by the law on the protection of animals.
Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe, who are old friends of Maldonado-Passage, also agreed in a Dec. 23 consent order filed in federal court in Muskogee, Oklahoma, never to exhibit animals again.
Federal agents seized the 97 endangered animals, including 68 big cats and a jaguar, from Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma, in two seizures last May and August. Federal officials accused the Lowes of harming and harassing the animals.
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