- “Tiger King” star Joe Exotic’s 22-year prison sentence was vacated on Wednesday.
- The appeals court that vacated the sentence upheld his conviction and said he would be resentenced.
- Exotic was convicted in 2019 of plotting to kill his rival Carole Baskin.
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“Tiger King” star Joe Exotic’s 22-year prison sentence was vacated by a federal appeals court on Wednesday.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a lower court made a mistake by not grouping both murder-for-hire convictions together at the sentencing for Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage.
While his sentencing was vacated, Maldonado-Passage’s convictions were upheld and he will be resentenced at a later date, the court filing said.
Maldonado-Passage was convicted in 2019 of plotting to kill his rival Carole Baskin, as well as of counts of animal cruelty.
Because his murder-for-hire-plot convictions weren’t lumped together by the sentencing judge, his sentencing guidelines increased from 210 to 262 months to 362 to 327 months, which the appeals court said shouldn’t have happened.
“Maldonado-Passage hired two different hitmen on two different occasions, though his ‘end, goal, or purpose,’ was the same. Thus, the acts or transactions of the two counts shared a common criminal objective-Baskin’s murder,” the court said. “The district court erred by not grouping the two murder-for-hire counts.”