DALLAS (KXAN/KXAS) — The man known as ‘Joe Exotic’ was not on the list of those President Donald Trump pardoned Tuesday night.
Lawyers for Joseph Maldonado-Passage were so confident that Trump would pardon their client that they parked a limousine outside the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth. Maldonado-Passage remains an inmate at the prison.
Maldonado-Passage was convicted last year of trying to arrange the killing of Carole Baskin, owner of Big Cat Rescue and longtime nemesis. The founder of a Florida animal sanctuary had criticized his treatment of animals.
Their rivalry was the main subject in the Netflix documentary “Tiger King,” and via a court order, Baskin now owns his former zoo in Oklahoma. Maldonado-Passage is serving 22 years in prison.
Maldonado-Passage made a plea to Trump for a pardon in September. His lawyers gave a 257-page request to Trump, and in it, he wrote, “please be my hero.”
Maldonado-Passage’s husband, Dillon Passage, was arrested on suspicion of DWI by Manor police in November. During the arrest, police say Passage “made officers aware of his social status and marriage to famed Joe Maldonado-Passage (Tiger King) on scene of the incident.”