A judge has allowed rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine to leave prison early due to concerns about the coronavirus.
While Tekashi, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, does not have the virus, he suffers from asthma and has had previous been hospitalized with bronchitis. If he were to contract COVID-19, he would be considered a high-risk patient.
Judge Paul Engelmayer, who had originally sentenced Hernandez last year, said that the coronavirus pandemic allowed for a compassionate release because there were “extraordinary and compelling reasons" for the rapper to get out early and he “will no longer present a meaningful danger to the community.”
Hernandez will complete the remaining four months of his two-year sentence at his New York home. He will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor.
The “Gummo” rapper’s release from prison is part of a nationwide effort to curb the coronavirus outbreaks in prisons and jails.
“The Centers for Disease Control warns that persons with asthma are at high risk of serious illness if they contract the disease,” Engelmayer wrote in a public statement after granting the rapper a release. “Further, the crowded nature of municipal jails such as the facility in which Mr. Hernandez is housed present an outsize risk that the COVID-19 contagion, once it gains entry, will spread. And, realistically, a high-risk inmate who contracts the virus while in prison will face challenges in caring for himself.”
In addition to his being required to wear a GPS ankle monitor, Hernandez was released on the condition that he only leave his home for necessary medical treatment or to visit his legal counsel. Such trips must first be approved by the probation department.
In 2019, the 23-year-old Brooklyn rapper was charged in connection with a series of gang robberies and shootings. He initially denied being involved in the incidents but changed his tune after he was given a plea deal.
In exchange for pleading guilty to racketeering, carrying a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon, as well as providing evidence against members of his former gang, the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, Hernandez was sentenced to just two years behind bars.
Had he not taken the deal, he could have faced life in prison.
Lance Lazzaro, who represents the rapper, told Fox News “we are all very happy that he was released.”