How did jurors decide to convict Joseph Maldonado-Passage in a murder-for-hire, and animal abuse case? The public took a second look at the wild trial because of the new Netflix docuseries Tiger King, and now one of the jurors is speaking to on Law&Crime Network Live Q&A. She addresses viewer questions above in a live stream starting at 2 p.m. ET.
Maldonado-Passage–the former Oklahoma zookeeper better known as Joe Exotic–was sentenced to 22 years in prison for plotting the murder of rival tiger-lover Carole Baskin. Their feud sprouted from the target trying to run him out of business and beating him in a lawsuit.
The defendant clearly hated Baskin with a burning passion, and routinely wished her harm publicly released videos.
“Carole, you can guaran-goddamn-tee I’m gonna put a cap in your ass,” he said, pointing to a gun on his hip in one representative clip. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Green focused the government’s case on what they claimed Maldonado-Passage said when he believed people weren’t listening.
Exotic was also convicted of killing five tigers. The defendant admitted to ending their lives, but he construed this as euthanasia.
Conviction or not, we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss how Tiger King fueled some skepticism over the guilty verdict. Maldonado-Passage maintained that he was set up by another rival: former business partner Jeff Lowe. He also claimed that alleged hitman Allen Glover lied on the stand about getting paid to kill Baskin.
“Jeff Lowe set him up,” argued Joshua Dial, who worked for the defendant as a campaign manager in separate runs for the U.S. Presidency and Oklahoma governorship. “That is the truth of the matter. It’s a tragedy. It’s a goddamn tragedy because Joe was set up.”
Lowe did not testify at the trial. Sylvia Corkill, a News 9 reporter who covered the case, argued on Tiger King that he was a “skilled conman,” and didn’t testify because he would’ve committed perjury.
Lowe denied framing Maladano-Passage, asserting he was just recording the defendant, and turned him into authorities.
“You know, they call it ‘set up,’ I call it ‘investigate,'” he asserted.
[Screengrab of Maldonado-Passage via Netflix UK & Ireland]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]