Tekashi 6ix9ine has been released from prison after a judge ruled his asthma made him particularly vulnerable to coronavirus infection, and eligible to serve the remaining four months of his 24 month sentence on house arrest.
6ix9ine, born Daniel Hernandez, was hospitalized for bronchitis last fall, putting him in the high-risk category for COVID-19. “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,” wrote Manhattan appeals court judge Paul Engelmayer in his decision. Engelmayer denied a prior request from Tekashi's lawyers just last week, but an escalation in the spread of coronavirus in New York, where the rapper was being held in a private prison, likely changed his mind.
Incarcerated Brooklyn rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine recently pleaded with the court to let him serve the remainder of his 24-month prison term at home amid the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the nation. According to new reports, it appears that the first phase that would allow his early prison release is complete.
New York’s prison system has been among the worst hit by the coronavirus. In particular, Riker’s Island has become a hotbed for the virus, and public health officials fear the situation might be spiral into a “catastrophe.” More than 167 inmates and 114 correctional officers have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the New York Times. With that in mind, Tekashi, via his lawyer, conveyed that he was fearful his health is at risk given that he suffers from asthma. Last week, Judge Engelmeyer denied Tekashi’s request on the grounds that he would need to take the issue up with the Bureau of Prisons. The court reportedly did not have the authority to intervene beyond his sentencing.
On Wednesday (April 1), the Inner City Press reported the Bureau of Prison’s rejected Tekashi’s appeal, stating that he is not under their custody. Instead, he’s under the custody of the United States Marshals Service because he was housed at a private facility, and therefore, the appeal is outside of their jurisdiction. With that established, the authority to grant the Brooklyn rapper’s release reverted back into Engelmeyer’s hands barring any objection from the U.S. Attorney General’s office. “The Court directs that the Government responds no later than 5 p.m. today. The parties are advised, provided that the Court has the legal authority to grant the relief requested by defense counsel, the Court intends to do so,” Engelmeyer motioned in a legal document obtained by the Inner City Press.
XXL also reportedly obtained a letter from the government where representatives stated that it was not opposed to the release given that "the Court finds 'extraordinary and compelling reasons' presented by the defendant’s medical condition, placing him at high risk during the COVID-19 outbreak.'"
It seems Tekashi might get a headstart on his mandated five years of supervised release. Being that this all happened to occur on April Fools Day of all days, many were in disbelief at first. But now, the e-streets are going wild over the news of Tekashi’s possible release.
(Photo: Shareif Ziyadat/WireImage)