Grammy winner to serve sentence in Hawaii for Guam drug case

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Yvonne Elliman poses in Los Angeles in this March 20, 1978 file photo. (AP Photo)
Yvonne Elliman poses in Los Angeles in this March 20, 1978 file photo. (AP Photo)

Hagatna, Guam (AP) — A Grammy Award-winning singer who gained fame for hits from “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Saturday Night Fever” and pleaded guilty to drug possession charges in Guam can serve her sentence in Hawaii, her lawyer said.

Yvonne Marianne Elliman-Alexander, 66, who performs under her maiden name Yvonne Elliman, and her husband, Allen Bernard Alexander, were sentenced last week in the U.S. territory, where they had gone to perform at a benefit concert.

Their attorney, Mike Phillips, told The Associated Press they received a 14-day sentence that they will be able to serve by observing courtroom proceedings of a drug offender probation program in Honolulu.  They will likely have to do that for 13 days because they will receive credit for one day of incarcerated time served, Phillips said.  They both pleaded guilty to felony drug possession charges in August.

After a court appearance in Guam, Elliman-Alexander said she and her husband had performed about 120 hours of community service in Hawaii, where they live.

“Get help, and when you’re feeling stronger, help others,” Elliman-Alexander said.  “I think that’s why we did so well because we did help other people.”

Airport officers said they found marijuana in Alexander’s belongings and crystal-like rocks and a glass pipe in Elliman-Alexander’s belongings, the Pacific Daily News reported.

The couple were arrested in Guam, but the concert they performed to benefit a Catholic school went forward even though the archdiocese on the heavily Catholic island opposed it.

The court previously granted the couple’s request to leave Guam and return to Hawaii to care for Elliman-Alexander’s ailing mother after they pleaded guilty.

Elliman-Alexander had her first hit, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from “Jesus Chris Superstar,” and she played Mary Magdalene in the 1973 movie version of the Broadway hit.  She also performed “If I Can’t Have You” on the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, which won a Grammy for album of the year in 1978.