'Tiger King' Joe Exotic is Back in Santa Rosa County Jail For....Music?

'Tiger King' Joe Exotic is Back in Santa Rosa County Jail For....Music?

Tiger King's Joe Exotic is in the Santa Rosa County Jail preparing for a hearing regarding a music dispute

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
March 28, 2024

SANTA ROSA COUNTY, FL—Tiger King's Joe Exotic was booked into Santa Rosa County Jail early Wednesday morning on hold for a federal hearing regarding a music dispute—not his attempted murder of his biggest critic, Carole Baskin.

The Tiger King took a road trip from his 21-year, murder-for-hire conviction in an Oklahoma prison all the way to Northwest Florida for a civil lawsuit involving copyrighted music played in his hit Netflix documentary.

The imprisoned Exotic sued country songwriter Vince Johnson, who revealed that Exotic was lip-syncing the popular "I Saw a Tiger" in the "Tiger King" show. He accused Johnson of copyright infringement for releasing a 2020 album featuring the catchy song and four others.

Johnson, however, alleges that he has the rights to the songs.

The Oklahoma zookeeper was arrested in Gulf Breeze in 2018 and convicted in 2019 for twice hiring someone to kill his chief critic and animal sanctuary opponent Carole Baskin.

Baskin, whose nonprofit successfully sued Exotic for more than $1 million for trademark infringement, told reporters after the verdict, "I am grateful justice was served."

Jurors also agreed that Exotic—whose real name is Joseph Maldonado—shot five tigers, sold tiger cubs, and falsified documents involving the sale of tigers, lions, and a baby lemur, the Oklahoman reported.

The Tiger King paid a zoo worker $3,000 to murder Baskin, but the worker decided to party on Florida's beaches instead. Exotic then hired an FBI agent posing as a hitman, telling him on recording, "As long as we don't get caught red-handed, I think we got this," and "Just like follow her into a mall parking lot and just cap her and drive off."

Baskin recently landed in hot water herself, following Exotic's allegations that she murdered her husband by putting him through a meat grinder and feeding him to her tigers. Baskin denied this, telling authorities her husband is actually in Costa Rica.

Authorities have found no sign of him.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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