Tekashi 6ix9ine Set To Be Released From Prison Due To Coronavirus Risk
Lawyer Lance Lazzaro, who represents the jailed rapper, filed a motion asking for 6ix9ine - real name Daniel Hernandez - to be release to his house because of his severe asthma. Hernandez has spent 17 months in federal custody.
After a number of appeals to Judge Paul Engelmayer, who sentenced him, and the US Bureau of Prisons (BOP), he could be released as early as this afternoon.
Lazzaro told Rolling Stone: "Based on what [Engelmayer] wrote this morning, it seems likely he's going to grant it."
Initially, Engelmayer - who sentenced Hernandez to two years imprisonment, including 13 months that had already been served - denied the request, saying that he did not have the legal authority, as he believed that authority was with the Bureau of Prisons.
However, he later wrote a letter to the government that said: "The parties are advised that, provided that the Court has legal authority to grant the relief requested by defense counsel, the Court intends to do so."
Judge Engelmayer gave the powers that be until 5pm on Wednesday (EST) to respond (10pm yesterday in UK time).
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In response to Engelmayer's letter, US Attorney Geoffrey Berman wrote: "In 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."
While that seems fairly certain, in this sort of matter, it's far from it.
The problem with the initial appeal was that currently Hernandez is being held in a privately-owned prison that is not owned by the BOP.
In Lazzaro's letter to Engelmayer, he said: "Mr. Hernandez's administrative request to BOP for compassionate release was denied because as a non-BOP inmate, BOP is refusing to grant Mr. Hernandez compassionate release.
"In this case, your Honor now has the statutory authority to modify Mr. Hernandez's sentence so as to immediately release him from prison.
"Mr. Hernandez submitted his administrative request for compassion release to BOP and BOP has made clear that as a non-BOP inmate, BOP will never grant Mr. Hernandez compassionate release."
6ix9ine pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges last year and had been facing decades in prison until he agreed to cooperate with the government and testified against other members of the Nine Trey Bloods gang.
His release date - whether at home or in prison - has been set as 2 August 2020.
Featured Image Credit: PA