Joe Exotic murder for hire, found guilty of trying to hire.
An ex-zookeeper from Oklahoma known as “Joe Exotic” was sentenced Wednesday to 22 years in prison for hatching a sick murder-for-hire plot against a rival and killing five tigers.
A jury in April found Joseph Maldonado-Passage guilty of 21 counts, including plotting to kill a sanctuary owner in Florida who had criticized his treatment of animals, as well as euthanizing the big cats.
Prosecutors said he offered $10,000 to an undercover FBI agent during a December 2017 meeting to kill the animal rights activist, Carole Baskin.
“Just like follow her into a mall parking lot and just cap her and drive off,” Maldonado-Passage said in the recording played for jurors.
Maldonado-Passage, 56, who previously operated a zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and is known for his blond mullet, was also convicted of selling tiger cubs.
Maldonado-Passage testified in his own defense at trial, despite a judge’s warning. He claimed he never truly wanted Baskin dead. She was not harmed.
Federal prosecutors sought a sentence of between 27 and 35 years, according to court papers.
He was hit with a 22-year sentence instead, according to KOCO News.
On his Facebook page, the wannabe politician and country music singer said he maintains his innocence and plans to appeal.