'Joe Exotic' murder-for-hire trial delayed - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

'Joe Exotic' murder-for-hire trial delayed

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Joseph Maldonado-Passage was booked on September 7, 2018. (Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office) Joseph Maldonado-Passage was booked on September 7, 2018. (Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The attempted murder-for-hire trial of an ex-Oklahoma zookeeper and one-time Libertarian candidate for governor has been postponed.

Court documents filed Dec. 21 show a federal judge agreed to a defense request for more time to prepare and rescheduled the trial of Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who goes by "Joe Exotic," until March 12. Maldonado-Passage is charged with trying to hire someone to kill the operator of a Florida-based animal sanctuary.

He pleaded not guilty and has a pending motion to dismiss the charge.

Maldonado-Passage also faces charges of killing tigers and selling cubs in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Maldonado-Passage once operated a zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and ran unsuccessfully for the Libertarian nomination for Oklahoma governor last year.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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