US District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer made the comment in a written order issued in response to a lawyer’s request for the rapper to be moved from prison due to health conditions. Tekashi (real name Daniel Hernandez) has asthma, which is one of the underlying medical conditions that puts a person’s health in the “high risk” category.
Engelmayer said that he doesn’t have legal authority to change Hernandez’s sentence to place the rapper at home for the remaining four months of his two-year prison term. But he added that he was issuing “instructive guidance” that the Bureau of Prisons can use if it considers an application by Hernandez for early release to home confinement.
The judge wrote that he “could not have known that the final four months of Mr. Hernandez’s sentence would be served at a time of a worldwide pandemic to which persons with asthma, like Mr. Hernandez, have heightened vulnerability” [via Billboard].
“Had the Court known that sentencing Mr. Hernandez to serve the final four months of his term 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.”
Additionally, Tekashi’s defence lawyer Lance Lazarro wrote in a letter to Engelmayer on Sunday (March 22) that the artist was diagnosed with bronchitis and sinusitis last October – two illnesses that could also make him vulnerable to the disease.
Lazarro said his client had complained to prison authorities in recent days of shortness of breath but was not permitted to be taken to a hospital even though his facility’s medical director had recommended it.
Tekashi 6ix9ine, who is due to be released from prison in August, originally faced 37 years to life in jail for federal racketeering charges. But he had his sentence reduced to two years behind bars and five years of supervised probation after he co-operated with authorities on a case involving the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods gang.
Hernandez was previously a member of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, but said in a letter of apology written before his sentencing that he felt “relief” when he was arrested because the gang had “control of his life”.