Joe Exotic has hired new lawyers and is seeking another trial.
It comes after the Tiger King star, who is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for animal abuse charges and a murder-for-hire plot against his rival Carole Baskin, teased a “major announcement” yesterday (March 2).
Today (March 3), it was announced that he now has new lawyers – John Phillips and Amy Hanna – who plan to file a motion for a new trial in a federal court in Oklahoma once the appeals process wraps up.
Phillips, who is based in Jacksonville, has previously represented former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, reports Fox News.
Jacksonville, Fla. – Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as ‘Joe Exotic,’ has retained John M. Phillips, Amy Hanna and the Law Offices of Phillips & Hunt to lead criminal and civil litigation matters related to a new trial. pic.twitter.com/GZ4pTLDEQE
— Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) March 2, 2021
Exotic was previously represented by federal public lawyers.
Phillips wouldn’t say what arguments he plans to make in a motion for a new trial, but it will rely on footage, both aired and unaired, from Tiger King.
“For sure, I know there is material in there that will help him out,” Phillips added.
Tiger King broke records for Netflix upon its release last March. The seven-part documentary series, which follows a number of big cat owners, breeders and conservationists in the US, became the streamer’s most-watched title for the longest period of time, holding the top spot for 15 days last April.
Since then, Exotic has been hopeful of a presidential pardon that would see him released from prison. In January, the former zoo owner failed to secure an expected pardon from outgoing US president Donald Trump, however, he retains faith in Joe Biden.
It was reported that Exotic and his team were so confident of his release at the hands of Trump that they had a “limousine fueled up” outside jail ahead of the pardon verdict.