U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer commented in a written order even as he rejected a lawyer’s request that the 23-year-old performer, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, be confined at home for the remaining four months of his two-year prison term.
He said he didn’t have legal authority to change the sentence, which prosecutors pointed out when they opposed the request.
But he added that he was issuing “instructive guidance” that the Bureau of Prisons can use if it considers an application by Tekashi 6ix9ine for early release to home confinement.
He cited Tekashi 6ix9ine’s heightened vulnerability to the virus because he has asthma.
Engelmayer said 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.”
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The performer is expected to be released July 31. He was diagnosed in October with bronchitis and sinusitis, defense attorney Lance Lazarro wrote in a letter to the judge on Sunday.
Tekashi 6ix9ine’s testimony against members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods gang earned him leniency from charges that could have subjected him to a mandatory minimum 37 years in prison for crimes that included orchestrating a shooting in which an innocent bystander was wounded.
In 2018, he had a multiplatinum hit song, “Fefe,“ with Nicki Minaj, which peaked at No. 3 on the pop charts, and “Stoopid,“ featuring imprisoned rapper Bobby Shmurda.