Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine was released into house arrest Thursday over fears that his chronic asthma makes him vulnerable to the coronavirus.
“He’s out and he’s very happy to be released,” his defense attorney, Lance Lazzaro, told NBC News.
The 23-year-old rapper, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, had been housed at a private facility under contract with the federal Bureau of Prisons. He was serving time after pleading guilty to multiple counts of racketeering, firearms offenses and drug trafficking.
Citing safety concerns, Lazzaro declined to reveal which private lockup his client had been at and refused to say where he would stay for the final four months of his two-year sentence.
U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer had earlier written that he didn’t have the legal authority to change the sentence, and he told Hernandez’s defense team that it first had to ask the Bureau of Prisons to let him out because of the pandemic.
But once the bureau refused the request, Engelmayer said, the court was allowed to act.
“It is readily apparent — and the Court here finds — that the circumstances presented here are extraordinary and compelling so as to justify the compassionate release in Mr. Hernandez’s case,” Englemayer ruled Thursday in New York City.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is extraordinary and unprecedented in modern times in this nation. It presents a clear and present danger to free society for reasons that need no elaboration. COVID-19 presents a heightened risk for incarcerated defendants like Mr. Hernandez with respiratory ailments such as asthma.” read more