Daniel Hernandez, better known as rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, was released from prison several months early in light of growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Presiding Judge Paul Engelmayer cited “the heightened medical risk presented to” Hernandez and “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances.
Hernandez’s lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, argued that he has asthma, which puts him in a dangerous position as COVID-19 spreads throughout New York. Hernandez, whose sentence will end July 31, will spend the next four months in home confinement. Lazarro told Rolling Stone that he will be allowed to communicate with others, make music, and leave the house only for necessary medical treatment or to visit his attorney.
In a legal filing, Lazzaro said that Hernandez had been feeling sick. “Mr. Hernandez has been complaining to prison officials this week of shortness of breath, but apparently the warden of his facility will not allow Mr. Hernandez to go to the hospital,” Lazarro wrote. Hernandez was not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, but he has been hospitalized numerous times for serious asthma attacks, Lazarro told E! News.
Last year, Hernandez pleaded guilty to nine charges of racketeering, drug trafficking, and firearm-related offenses. He admitted to participating in activities including “shooting people, robbing people, and, at times, drug trafficking” with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. Because he entered a plea bargain and testified against several members of the gang, his sentence was shortened from a mandatory minimum of 47 years to 24 months.
Hernandez’s other lawyer, Dawn Florio, told Complex that because he already received a $10 million advance from label 10K Projects, he will be releasing new music “as soon as possible.” After his at-home sentence ends in July, Hernandez will serve five years of probation.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.