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Joe Exotic’s supporters, legal team hope for presidential pardon with new evidence

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 6:45 PM CST
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Joe Exotic hopes to be one of a hundred or so people to receive clemency from President Trump on Tuesday.

Joe Maldonado-Passage is currently serving 22 years in a murder-for-hire plot on his nemesis-and big cat rights activist-Carole Baskin, also prominently featured in the hit Netflix series.

“My job is to get the correct information out there,” Joe Exotic’s investigative consultant Jim Rathmann said.

Rathmann began working on Maldonado-Passage’s case in August. He said two weeks ago he received a recording of a phone call between zoo owner Tim Stark and Allen Glover- the alleged hitman- where Glover said the murder-for-hire plot was a set up.

“This completely exonerates him,” Rathmann said. “It says everything that he’s been saying all along. He did not do this.”

Joe Exotic supporter Saul Cothran agreed.

“I still don’t understand why Joe’s still in prison,” Cothran said. “There’s more to the story than just what people see on the outside and on a Netflix documentary.”

Rathmann said he’s been told that the evidence Joe’s legal team put together is going to be viewed by White House senior advisors and the president himself.

“At this point, Joe himself wants this information out there,” Rathmann said. “He wants the public to know. He’s always said he did not do this, and the evidence speaks to that. And this recording certainly speaks to that.”

Rathmann said he’s hopeful about the outcome.

“But with any pardon, it’s like a Hail Mary pass at the end of the football game,” Rathmann said. “You don’t know if you’re going to catch it or if it’s going to be dropped.”

Even if Joe isn’t pardoned Tuesday, the team has another plan in the works.

“If not, there’s always plan B for the appeal,” Cothran said.

Joe Exotic’s appeal is scheduled for Wednesday morning, and Rathmann is confident.

“We have somebody from the inside who testified to the exact opposite in federal court,” Rathmann said.

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