Most recently, Tekashi 6ix9ine’s lawyer, Lance Lazarro, wrote a letter to a judge asking for the Brooklyn-bred rapper to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.
According to his note, Tekashi is reportedly concerned his health might be at risk if he remains behind bars amid the global coronavirus pandemic. Lazarro petitioned Judge Paul Engelmayer, the judge who presided over Tekashi’s trial, to grant him an early release on the grounds that his pre-existing medical condition makes him more susceptible to contracting the virus. Tekashi reportedly has asthma, and was hospitalized for bronchitis and sinusitis last year, per TMZ. Last week, Lazzaro claimed Tekashi was recently experiencing a shortness of breath (a symptom of the respiratory illness), but he reportedly wasn’t allowed to visit a doctor. Furthermore, there are 75 confirmed cases within the New York prison system, according to the New York Post, and those numbers are expected to rise given that the pandemic has yet to abate.
Despite that, Engelmayer denied Tekashi’s request on Wednesday (March 25). According to New York Daily News, the court does not have the legal authority to grant the request.
“At the time of sentencing, however, the Court did not know and could not have known that the final four months of Mr. Hernandez’s sentence would be served at a time of a worldwide pandemic to which persons with asthma, like Mr. Hernandez, have heightened vulnerability,” Engelmayer wrote.
“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.”
But, all hope is not lost. Even though his hands are tied, Engelmayer provided Tekashi another possible avenue to resolve the matter. He suggested for the rapper and his legal team to reach out to the Bureau of Prisons instead. Lazzaro told TMZ that he feels Engelmayer’s response “is a strong recommendation to the [Bureau of Prisons] to release him immediately.”