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‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic sentenced to 21 years in prison

In this August 2013 photo, Joseph Maldonado answers a question during an interview at the zoo he runs in Wynnewood, Okla. Maldonado known also as “Tiger King” Joe Exotic is headed to a federal courtroom today for a resentencing hearing. He's now in federal prison after a jury convicted him in a murder-for-hire plot involving his chief rival, Carole Baskin. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge resentenced “Tiger King” Joe Exotic to 21 years in prison today, rejecting pleas from the former zookeeper to free him from prison.

Joe Exotic — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage — was convicted in a murder-for-hire case involving animal welfare activist Carole Baskin. Both were featured in Netflix’s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

Maldonado-Passage was resentenced after a federal appeals court ruled last year than improper sentencing guidelines were used.

Prosecutors say Maldonado-Passage tried to hire two people — including an undercover FBI agent — to kill Baskin, who’d criticized his treatment of animals. But Maldonado-Passage’s attorneys said he wasn’t being serious. Baskin attended the sentencing in Oklahoma City.

Last month, attorneys said Maldonado-Passage was delaying prostate cancer treatment until after his resentencing.

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