Joe Exotic may not end up spending the next two decades in prison after all. The Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness star, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was arrested in 2018 for his alleged role in a murder-for-hire plot against his longtime nemesis Carole Baskin. He was found guilty and later sentenced to serve 22 years in federal prison, and his subsequent pleas for a presidential pardon have gone unanswered.
Though Joe Exotic never got that pardon, he has gotten some good news that could ultimately mean less time in prison. On Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver did not vacate his conviction as Exotic’s legal team was hoping for. However, the three-judge panel ruled that the original trial court improperly treated his two murder-for-hire counts as separate rather than a single crime.
Ultimately, the judges ruled to “affirm his conviction but vacate the sentence and remand for sentencing.” In other words, Exotic’s conviction still stands, but the judges agreed with Joe Exotic’s lawyers that he should have only been sentenced for a single murder-for-hire charge rather than the two charges that did him in. This could possibly lead to a lesser sentence, so while he’s not out of the woods just yet, he may not end up having to spend the next 20 years behind bars.
While he awaits his resentencing, Exotic is passing the time by searching for a new husband. From behind bars, he recently organized a contest called “The Bachelor King,” which asks men to fill out an application to be considered as his next romantic partner. Joe says that the top three picks will receive a 3-night, 4-day romantic getaway with the Tiger King star.
“I have been through hell in three years and I intend on making my new life something I have always dreamed of and I want to spend it with someone that can take a relationship serious and be in love and enjoy this ride, and make this about us as a team, not just me or the man I choose to carry on with. I want to share this with someone great,” Exotic said.
A press release from Joe Exotic’s criminal attorney also states that his legal team is confident that “with all the new evidence that has been obtained proving conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury by federal agents, and witnesses, in addition to prosecutor misconduct and the federal judge being a long-time friend of one of the main witnesses in Joe’s case, that he will be freed by the end of the year, if not sooner.”
Joe Exotic became a household name practically overnight when Netflix debuted the Tiger King docuseries last year. His story has since inspired a scripted series in development at Peacock with SNL‘s Kate McKinnon starring as Carole Baskin with John Cameron Mitchell playing Exotic. A planned Joe Exotic series was in development at Amazon Prime Video, though it’s just been reported that Amazon has opted not to move forward with the project.
The Bachelor King contest began on July 4 and will run through Sept 25, 2021. Winners will be announced on Oct. 6, 2021. To find out more information or to fill out an application, you acn visit the official website at JoeExoticUSA.com. The news of Joe Exotic’s resentencing comes to us from Deadline.