The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s sentencing decisions for the former zoo operator known as “Joe Exotic,” including consecutively-run, 8.5-year terms for two murder-for-hire convictions against rival activist Carole Baskin.

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who was featured in the Netflix 2020 Tiger King documentary series, appealed two murder-for-hire counts under 18 U.S.C. § 1958(a) arguing that the counts should be merged into a single penalty since he hired the two hitmen to kill one person: Baskin—who engaged in a feud with Maldonado-Passage over his treatment of animals at his zoo he operated in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

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