Whaaat?!! See How Howard Hewett Came Close To Serving 49 Years In Jail!

Posted On : February 26, 2016

Back in the day, Shalamar member and R&B crooner, Howard Hewett, had a brush with prison life when he was facing a possible 49 year jail sentence. Luckily for him, things turned out for the better, but boy was it a close call. His then-fiancee, Mari Molina, wasn’t so lucky though and she ended up living the prison life for about 4 years. Here is what happened:

In 1986 while we were all singing along to his classics like, “I’m For Real” and “Stay,” as well as singing “Amen” with him on his hit, “Say Amen,” Hewett was about to face the fight of his life in federal court on drug trafficking charges. He and his then fiancee, Mari Molina, were originally arrested in 1985 in a shopping mall parking lot by federal officers for possesion with intent to distribute a kilo of cocaine.
howard4According to the Sun Sentinal:
‘Howard’s defense lawyer, Richard Sharpstein, called Howard’s involvement a case of guilt by association.

The day they were busted, Hewett rode to Dadeland Mall with his fiancee, Mari Molina, who he has sincemarried, Sharpstein said.

The defense attorney says Molina had been negotiating to sell the kilo, not Hewett.

It was Molina who delivered the kilo to an undercover agent in the mall parking lot, not Hewett, he said. Hewett was just waiting in the car, Sharpstein told the jury.’

howard2 Just before Hewett’s trial his label, Elektra Records, made sure they had a completed album from him and proceeded to promote it, probably because just in case their newly signed controversial artist was not going to see the light of day for the next 49 years.

During the ’86 drug trafficking trial, Molina testified that Hewett knew nothing about her drug dealing ways, nor that she was making that drug deal in the mall parking lot. Her testimony combined with his attorney’s presentation of logical facts about him- such as the fact that Hewett was making a ton of money at the time from his hit solo records, as well as his past Shalamar joints and therefore had no need to risk his freedom and livlihood just to split an approximately $1500 cocaine profit with his fiancee- is what ultimately got Howard Hewett’s name cleared 100%.

When Hewett stepped out of the courthouse is when he exclaimed “Praise the Lord. I’m just elated. I feel a new kind of freedom.'”

Molina ended up serving two 4 year sentences that ran concurrently, so she was out in four.

According to what Hewett’s attorney revealed to the press at the time of the drug trial, Hewett married his fiancee soon after she was busted as the drug trafficking queen. The realtionship didn’t last though and he went on to marry two more times.

Words can’t express how relieved we, soul music lovers, are to know that Hewett didn’t end up in jail for 49 years. He would have still been serving that sentence to this very day, with 19 more years to go and his career and those timeless soul jams he’s given us would have been a wrap. This is one time that the American legal system didn’t fail us.

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