Joe Exotic is mourning the loss of his father. According to TMZ, Exotic's father, Francis Schreibvogel, recently died of complications from Covid-19. It is unclear when Schreibvogel contracted the virus or his death's exact date, though his death came as Exotic continues to serve his 22-year jail sentence. Of course, Exotic became a household name after appearing as the central figure in Netflix's mega-popular March-released docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.
Schreibvogel's death comes as Exotic and his team pushes for a presidential pardon from President Donald Trump during his final days in office. Schreibvogel's passing has reportedly made this even more urgent, as Exotic is hoping to be able to attend his father's funeral, which is set to take place Saturday, Jan. 9, in Oklahoma. Exotic's legal team had already been planning a trip to Washington, D.C. to push for the pardon, though TMZ notes, "there's an added urgency since the clock is ticking for the funeral."
According to the outlet, Exotic's legal team, headed by Eric Love, is scheduled to head to the country's capital Wednesday for a "high level" meeting regarding a possible pardon. They will make the journey on a chartered jet boasting a "Joe/Tiger King" wrap. Once there, the legal team is reportedly set to meet with a "high level" government representative who is "White House/pardon-related." The team, however, is refraining from revealing the identity of the individual. If the pardon isn't granted during or shortly after the meeting, Exotic's legal team plans to ask a judge for a day pass, which would allow Exotic a temporary release to attend his father's funeral.
The Tiger King subject is currently serving a 22-year sentence. He was convicted with eight counts of falsifying records after he violated the Lacey Act, nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act, and two murder-for-hire counts for his plot targeting Carole Baskin. He has currently served a year, and he is hoping not to spend much more time in prison. Since Tiger King's release, Exotic and his legal team have been pushing for a presidential pardon. The movement gained so much steam that Trump himself even acknowledged the request in April when he told reporters he would "take a look at it."
Although nothing emerges in the weeks immediately following that statement, after Exotic wrote multiple letters to both Trump and Kim Kardashian, a presidential pardon seemed to be one step closer. In November, Exotic's legal team claimed they received "information and multiple phone calls" from Washington, D.C. regarding "the pardon" of Exotic. At this time, it remains unclear if Trump will issue a pardon.