Tekashi 6ix9ine to serve rest of sentence at home because of coronavirus risk

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(CNN) – Tekashi 6ix9ine was released from federal prison Thursday after his attorney said the rapper's asthma made him vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.

The rapper, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, will serve the rest of his sentence at home, his defense attorney Lance Lazzaro told CNN.

His release comes about four months before Hernandez would have completed his 2-year sentence. He was sentenced late last year on charges related to gang activity in New York, but received a reduced sentence after cooperating with federal investigators and informing on his former gang associates.

The rapper is not the only inmate to be released amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent weeks, there's been a national push for the release of at-risk inmates as the number of coronavirus cases grows inside correctional facilities. US Attorney General William Barr directed leaders of the federal prison system late last month to increase home confinement for some inmates.

Judge says he would have sentenced home confinement

Lazzaro filed a letter in federal court on March 22 asking that his client be released to avoid the risk of contracting Covid-19. Lazzaro reiterated in another letter on March 31 that Hernandez has "severe asthma and was recently hospitalized for bronchitis," making him vulnerable to the coronavirus.

New York District Judge Paul Engelmayer denied the request, stating he did not have the authority to grant the request. Hernandez, the judge said, should instead seek compassionate release from the Bureau of Prisons.