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'Tiger King' 'Joe Exotic' gets 1 year shaved from federal sentence

'Tiger King' 'Joe Exotic' gets 1 year shaved from federal sentence
Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, known by his stage name "Joe Exotic," poses with a tiger. He was re-sentenced to 21 years in prison for a murder-for-hire scheme in Oklahoma. File Photo courtesy of Netflix

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The Oklahoma zookeeper best known as Joe Exotic in the Netflix series Tiger King was re-sentenced to 21 years in prison in a murder-for-hire plot to knock off a rival.

Joseph Maldonado-Passage was originally sentenced to 264 months, of 22 years. U.S. District Judge shaved 12 months off that sentence to 252 months, of 21 years.

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Physicians diagnosed Maldonado-Passage with prostate cancer in November but he delayed radiation treatment to get an earlier re-sentencing hearing.

An appeals court had ruled that U.S. District Judge Scott Palk erred during Maldonado-Passage's original trial by not grouping together two murder-for-higher counts, opening the door for the re-sentencing.

While the new sentencing guidelines allowed for Palk to lower Maldonado-Passage's sentence to 17 years, he was not bound by them.

Maldonado-Passage has maintained his innocence throughout his 2019 trial, blaming what he called fabricated evidence and untruthful witnesses for his guilty sentencing.

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