Coronavirus: Tekashi 6ix9ine leaves prison early because of asthma fears

  • Published
Tekashi six nineImage source, Getty Images

Tekashi 6ix9ine has left prison early as part of a nationwide effort in America to stem the coronavirus outbreak in US jails.

A judge confirmed the rapper, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, does not have the virus but is considered high risk because of his asthma and previous hospital treatment for bronchitis.

According to 6ix9ine's legal team, he'll complete the remaining four months of his two-year sentence under home arrest wearing a GPS ankle monitor.

Last year, the 23-year-old pleaded guilty to a series of gang robberies and shootings.

US District Judge Paul Engelmayer, who originally sentenced him, suggested the current pandemic presented "extraordinary and compelling reasons" for a compassionate release.

He also said Daniel Hernandez "will no longer present a meaningful danger to the community".

Lisa Evers, a US journalist who has been covering the trial for local station Fox 5 News, claimed she had spoken to the rapper's legal team who said he will be allowed to return to social media and plans to work on two new albums.

In October 2019 it was reported that he had signed a new $10 million (£8 million) record deal.

Media caption,

'They're calling him Tekashi Snitch 9ine'

At his 2019 trial, the rapper initially denied the charges against him but entered a plea bargain, giving evidence against other gang members in order to get a reduced sentence after potentially facing a maximum of life in prison.

He testified against former members of Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods.

The offences 6ix9ine was charged with include racketeering, carrying a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy murder charges.

Racketeering is when people use criminal actions to repeatedly take money from others, often associated with protection rackets.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The rapper will reportedly work on new music from home

It all came from his association with a violent US gang Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods - also known as TreyWay - which 6ix9ine had spoken about on Twitter.

He joined the gang in 2017 but left less than a year later.

The inner workings of the gang was exposed by 6ix9ine - and another ex-gang member, Kristian Cruz.

Nine Trey Bloods committed robberies, dealt drugs and were violent against rivals and each other according to their testimonies.

6ix9ine gave information on Anthony Ellison and Aljermiah Mack and both men have since been convicted.

Ellison was also found guilty of kidnapping 6ix9ine, maiming and assault - while Mack was also found guilty on drug dealing charges.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays - or listen back here.