Tiger King's Joe Exotic to be resentenced as popularity with the public plummets

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Joe Exotic is headed back to court Friday as public interest in his case wanes.

The former Oklahoma zookeeper is to be resentenced in his murder-for-hire case, almost two years after a Netflix true-crime documentary series made him known worldwide as the "Tiger King."

Public interest in the case isn't what it once was, but his new attorney, John Phillips, continues to post updates on social media almost daily.

'Tiger King': Co-director Rebecca Chaiklin says Joe Exotic's saga 'never ended,' leading to sequel

The hearing was set to begin at 10 a.m. in Oklahoma City Federal Court.

"Be there if you can," the Florida attorney said Wednesday in an Instagram video. "Let's support Joe. Free Joe Exotic."

The former big cat breeder was sent to prison after a jury convicted him of hiring hit men to kill his chief critic, Carole Baskin, and of crimes involving his animals. He maintains he is innocent.

His original sentence was 22 years. A federal appeals court ruled in July he must be resentenced because of a judicial mistake involving sentencing guidelines.

Deciding again how long Joe Exotic will be in prison is U.S. District Judge Scott Palk, and the judge is not a fan.

More: Prosecutors deny 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic's claims of outrageous government conduct

Joe Exotic is holding out hope for a pardon from President Donald Trump.
Joe Exotic is holding out hope for a pardon from President Donald Trump.

"It is clear from the evidence in this case that you are convinced that you always know better and expect your explanations and directives to be taken at face value," Palk said at the sentencing in 2020.

"You have routinely attempted to explain away your conduct, including today, blaming those around you, whether that is Carole Baskin, law enforcement, business partners or your own employees. Sir, in spite of what you may believe, you are not the only in-step person in an out-of-step world."

Jurors at his 2019 trial were told he targeted Baskin because she was actively seeking to collect court judgments against him of more than $1 million for trademark infringement and other civil violations.

He also was angry because she accused him of exploiting tiger cubs for profit at his zoo and on traveling shows, according to testimony. Baskin, who operates an animal sanctuary in Florida, had sought to stop him for years.

The latest example of the dropping interest came this month when his attorney launched a fundraiser on GoFundMe to pay Baskin.

"I will walk out of prison with the clothes on my back, a $1 million judgment against me and no home," Joe Exotic wrote. "I want a fresh start. Simply put, I cannot get a fresh start until I pay @$%! Carole Baskin back."

The goal on Jan. 5 was $500,000. Only $15,922 had been raised as of Thursday. Most of the total came from a single donor.

The goal is now listed at $100,000.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Tiger King star Joe Exotic to be resentenced in murder-for-hire case

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