“Tiger King” Joe Exotic moved to North Carolina facility
Butner, North Carolina Former Oklahoma park ranger known as “Tiger King” Joe Exotic, a leading character in a Netflix documentary series, has been moved to a North Carolina medical facility for federal prisoners after being diagnosed with cancer, according to his attorney.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado Passage, was flown on a plane to be transported from a Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, to a Federal Medical Center in Patner, North Carolina, late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Defense attorney John Phillips said in a statement. Phillips, who posted his statement on Twitter on Saturday, said the Maldonado Passage was originally scheduled to move later this month.
Phillips said Maldonado Passage told him he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was receiving medical treatment and tests for “a range of problems.” Phillips said medical care in prisons “is not the best and justice is slow.”
“It’s a contest of life and freedom that no one wants any part of,” he added.
In July, a federal appeals court ruled that Maldonado Passage should receive a shorter prison sentence for his role in a pay-murder plot and violation of federal wildlife laws.
He was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison after being convicted of trying to hire two different men to kill Florida animal rights activist Carol Baskin. A three-judge panel from the Tenth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals in Denver found that the lower court had wrongly treated these two convictions separately in calculating his prison term under sentencing guidelines.
The appeals court said the range of advisory sentences should be between 17 and a half and just under 22 and not between less than 22 and 27 years in prison, the lower court calculated.
Maldonado-Passage and his blond purée appeared in the Netflix documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”
Meanwhile, Baskin, of the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Tampa, lost an effort to prevent Netflix and a production company from using a recorded video of her and her husband in the “Tiger King” sequel, which began November 17.
A federal justice of the peace issued a recommendation Friday to reject Baskins’ attempt to block the use of the footage as advance restrictions not permitted under the First Amendment.
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