Fyre Fest organiser Billy McFarland has requested an early release from his six-year prison sentence due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, as reported by TMZ.
His lawyers argue that McFarland’s pre-existing health conditions — including asthma, allergies and heart issues — would prove to be severe health risks if he contracted COVID-19 in prison. McFarland’s lawyers also cited Tekashi 6ix9ine’s recent release as precedent.
McFarland is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Correction Institution in Elkton, Maryland, which has been described as a “breeding ground for the virus” by Congressman Bill Johnson. So far, 36 inmates and 26 staff members have contracted the virus, with six reported fatalities at the time of writing. McFarland was sentenced on October 11, 2018 after pleading guilty to wire fraud.
According to a letter sent to Judge Buchwald from McFarland, he says the motion “outlines the seriousness of the situation at FCI Elkton, the health risks that I’m exposed to by being
here, and how I can contribute positively via home detention”.
“In addition to what I’m working on for those I hurt, I saw the devastation that
coronavirus is having on inmates and their innocent families,” wrote McFarland in the letter.
“As I learned in the SHU, the ultimate punishment is on our families — taking us away from them when they need us most.”
So far, McFarland has spent 22 months in jail and nine months in the SHU (Special Housing Unit, or solitary confinement).
McFarland had also reportedly planned to self-release his memoirs, provisionally titled Promythus: God of Fyre, to help him pay over $26million in compensation to those affected by the ill-fated festival.
On April 8, R Kelly also appealed for bail on similar grounds from the Metropolitan Correctional Center, but was denied.