The Tiger King star, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was given a revised sentence of 21 years in prison by a federal judge in Oklahoma City on Friday, according to the Associated Press.
Maldonado-Passage, 58, was present for the proceedings wearing his orange prison jumpsuit. “Please don’t make me die in prison waiting for a chance to be free,” he told the judge.
Baskin was also in attendance and told the judge she was fearful of Maldonado-Passage. “He continues to harbor intense feelings of ill will toward me,” she testified.
His legal team spoke outside after court and said they will continue fighting in hopes of overturning his conviction completely.
The star of the Netflix doc was convicted in 2019 of trying to hire two different men to kill rival Baskin, a Florida animal rights activist and founder of Big Cat Rescue, as well as for violating federal wildlife laws. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2020.
Maldonado-Passage has relentlessly campaigned to #FreeJoeExotic, taking his cause to the White House under both President Biden and former President Trump, and filing an appeal. One of his arguments in the appeal was that his two counts of attempted murder for hire were wrongly separated and should have been counted as one in calculating his prison term under sentencing guidelines.
In July, a federal appeals court agreed that he should get a shorter prison sentence. The three-judge panel determined the range of prison time should have been between 17-and-a-half years and just under 22 years. The trial court’s calculation had been between 22 and 27 years.
He was supposed to be free from prison in September 2037, now he will have 12 months shaved from the initial sentence.
Maldonado-Passage also has “aggressive” prostate cancer, he said in November. He has been receiving medical care while in prison but postponed starting eight weeks of radiation treatments until after sentencing as he was not able to travel during the treatments.
According to court documents, Maldonado-Passage was told by his physicians that postponing radiation treatment until after the resentencing would not be detrimental to his health as it was being safely monitored.
His next medical appointment is Feb. 6, his attorney said outside court on Friday.