Earlier this year, an increasingly desperate Joe Exotic hired a new attorney in his efforts to leave prison.
You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take, and the Tiger King star is trying anything and everything.
Now, his sentence has been vacated by a higher court after one of those appeals bore fruit.
Oddly enough, the ruling was related to Carole Baskins herself. Does this mean that Joe is going free?
This is not actually the get-out-of-decades-of-prison card that Joe was hoping for, as we will explain.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known to Tiger King viewers as Joe Exotic, was convicted in 2019.
In addition to numerous appalling animal cruelty charges, he was sentenced for a murder-for-hire plot.
Joe was found guilty of conspiring to cause the death of Carole Baskin.
Carole, an animal rights activist, vocally opposed the appalling conditions at his zoo.
Joe was sentenced in 2020 to serve 22 years behind bars for that and other crimes.
In July 2016, Joe began to make a series of attempts to hire people to murder Carole.
She had won a multimillion-dollar judgment against Joe and his park.
One of the people whom he attempted to hire to murder her was an undercover FBI agent, offering $3,000 up front with the promise of more.
The other crimes include the abuse of the animals in his care.
Joe was found guilty of and sentenced for, among other things, killing tigers just to make space for more animals in his zoo.
While some had the poor taste to treat him like a meme or curiosity after Tiger King, the courts at least took his actions seriously.
Now, however, a judge in Oklahoma’s 10th District Court has vacated Joe’s sentencing.
The court has ordered that he resentenced.
However, the judge affirmed the conviction
This relates to Carole Baskin because Joe’s legal team argued that the court had made a mistake.
Carole was permitted to attend the full trial but was also listed as a witness for the prosecution.
The judge agreed with this quibble and ruled in his favor … only up to a point.
"Although the district court apparently thought that the two murder-for-hire plots shared a common criminal objective," the court ruled.
The judge continued: "it mistakenly (although quite understandably) thought that grouping would not be proper unless they were also part of the same course of conduct."
The court explained: "This error in interpreting the guidelines requires reversal."
This means that the case is being sent back tot he Oklahoma City judge.
The judge must now group the two counts and carry out the resentencing.
It is unclear how this might impact Joe’s stay in prison … if at all.
Even as he awaits resentencing, the guilty verdict stands. Joe was convicted.
As such, he is to remain behind bars while he awaits a new sentence.
Sentencing guidelines may land Joe a new duration behind bars … but one imagines, and hopes, that he will not be released any time soon.