Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine lawyer: 'My client is innocent'
US rapper, Tekashi 6ix9ine's lawyer has released a statement today defending his client’s innocence following his arrest on Sunday
In a statement, attorney Lance Lazzaro insisted, "Daniel Hernandez (his real name) is completely innocent of all charges being brought against him." Lazzaro described the rapper as, "An entertainer who portrays a ‘gangster image’ to promote his music" insisting that this did not make him a member of an "enterprise."
Hernandez is currently facing the prospect of life imprisonment on charges around racketeering, firearm usage and his involvement with a violent US gang.
He was arrested and charged following the findings of a federal investigation spanning five years. This would not be his first period of time in prison after pleading guilty in 2015 for conducting a sexual act with a 13 year old. The rapper was served with a four year probationary order and two of the conditions were that he 'not get arrested for the period of said probation, and refrain from associating with any known gang member.'
Soon after he was sentenced however, the prosecution claimed that the 22-year-old was back with his team which was affiliated to the Nine Trey Bloods (a US street gang). A shooting then commenced outside New York restaurant, Philipe Chow between his associates and a member of the security team of his label head.
If Hernandez is found guilty of violating his probation, this could lead to another four years in prison.
According to the prosecuting US attorney Michael Longyear, the accused is now facing a minimum mandatory sentence of 32 years. This is a combination of the unlawful possession of an AR15, the alleged involvement in two shootings (the second of which was conspiracy to commit murder) as well as participating in the robbery of a rival gang.
Longyear told the court: "Members and associates of the Enterprise promoted and celebrated the criminal conduct of the Enterprise, namely narcotics distribution, acts involving violence, and the use of firearms, in music and on social media.” He added: "The purposes of the Enterprise included preserving and protecting the power, territory, and profits of the Enterprise through acts involving murder… and threats of violence."
But late last week, Hernandez appeared to cancel his upcoming tour via Instagram, announcing that he had fired his whole team. Lazzaro, his attorney, now states that an interview with New York radio station Power 105’s The Breakfast Club showed his client had dissociated himself from the gang. He claims that Hernandez was "A victim of this enterprise and later took steps by firing employees and publicly denounced this enterprise through a morning show.”
The case remains ongoing.