Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine Released From Prison Over Coronavirus Concerns
Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, born Daniel Hernandez, was granted an early release from Manhattan federal prison on Thursday because of coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, and will spend the last four months of his sentence in home confinement, according to a judge’s order.
Last week, his lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, asked that Hernandez be removed from prison on “compassionate release” because he has asthma, which he said would put him at a higher risk for the disease. Judge Paul Engelmayer agreed, and ultimately let Hernadez out for home confinement.
“Had the Court known that sentencing Mr. Hernandez to serve the final four months of his term in a federal prison would have exposed him to a heightened health risk, the Court would have directed that these four months be served instead in home confinement,” Engelmayer said in his ruling.
Tekashi 6ix9ine, was serving a two year sentence, after he plead guilty last year to gang robberies and shootings in relation to the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. He could’ve been sentenced to decades in prison, but avoided a longer sentence by cooperating fully with authorities and becoming a star witness. Some called his testimony “snitching,” and to be kept safe, Hernandez was placed in a private prison run by U.S. Marshalls.
The judge’s decision was made on Wednesday, but the ruling was not released until Thursday in an effort to keep Hernandez safe. His home confinement location has not been revealed.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the defendant must remain at his residence except to seek any necessary medical treatment or to visit his attorney, in each instance with prior notice and approval by the Probation Department,” Engelmayer said.
This comes as many prisoner’s rights activists debate with officials on what should be done to curb the risk prisoners face in jails. Some states have released large groups of non-violent offenders, while others have asked prisoners to appeal to judges individually. Other infamous stars behind bars like Bill Cosby and R. Kelly have asked to be moved to home confinement, but were denied.