After pleading for an early release due to the threat of coronavirus, Tekashi 6ix9ine’s request was officially granted. The 23-year-old rapper was freed from custody on Thursday (April 2) and will serve out the remainder of his two-year sentence at home, the New York Times reports.
The Brooklyn native, who was reportedly being housed at the Queens Detention Facility, was expected to be go free in August. In January, Tekashi’s legal team filed for an early release claiming that he feared for his life behind bars, but the request was denied. After the pandemic hit, Tekashi’s lawyers filed a new motion, arguing that his asthma put him further at risk of catching COVID-19, which is a respiratory illness. The motion was initially denied by Judge Paul Engelmayer because of a discrepancy over the proper channels of filing for his release. In the end, Judge Engelmayer approved the request.
“Had the Court known that sentencing Mr. Hernandez to serve the final four months of his terms 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,” Judge Engelmayer wrote in his decision per the NYT.
New York currently tops the list for COVID-19 in the U.S. with at least 83,948 confirmed cases as of Thursday, 6,142 recoveries and 1,941 deaths.
Tekashi, whose both name is Daniel Hernandez, was sentenced to two years after testifying against members of the Nine Trey Bloods gang of which he was reportedly affiliated. His lawyer, Lance Lazarro, said Thursday that he has “no intentions” of entering witness protection and “hopes to resume his career.”