Tekashi 6ix9ine’s wish for an early prison release could be coming true, thanks to COVID-19.
The “Stoopid” rapper has sat in his cell at the Queens Detention Centre for the last few months as he serves out his sentence for multiple charges. In December last year, Judge Paul Engelmeyer sentenced Daniel Hernandez after he took a guilty plea on charges of racketeering, carrying a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy murder charges. The initial sentence which the New Yorker faced was 47 years in prison, but his willingness to co-operate with authorities and testify against his former Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods gang members stood him in good stead. By doing so, Tekashi 6ix9ine was sentenced to only 24 months behind bars, 13 of which he had already faced.
It was announced last month that the rapper would be released on August 2nd. Despite the date not being too far in the future, Tekashi’s legal team approached the judge for an even earlier release, citing Coronavirus fears. A case at the Metropolitan Detention Centre on Brooklyn increased the artist’s fears that the virus would soon reach his own correctional facility. Despite being only 23-years-old, 6ix9ine is considered more vulnerable than most as his asthma makes him immunocompromised.
A bout of bronchitis, which he had in October, was also mentioned to the judge in an appeal for Tekashi 6ix9ine to serve out the remainder of his time under house arrest at home. The original request was denied by the Bureau of Prisons as he did not consult them first, but a second appeal looks set to be granted.
Judge Engelmayer has said he is inclined to grant compassionate leave to Tekashi 6ix9ine if the US District Attorney does not oppose it. The decision will be formalized later today, with the rapper hoping this isn’t an April Fool’s prank.
Federal prosecutors have since responded to the judge saying that they won’t stand in his way of wanting to let the rainbow-haired rapper out. “[I]n the event the Court finds ‘extraordinary and compelling reasons’ presented by the defendant’s medical condition, placing him at high risk during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government does not oppose the defendant’s motion for compassionate release,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman wrote in a statement.
All goes well, Tekashi 6ix9ine could be released from prison in a matter of hours.