Friends, addiction explain Austintown athlete's fall from grace, court officials say


Tyler Hewlett appeared to be on the right track.

His standout performance on Austintown Fitch High School’s football team earned him a full scholarship to Youngstown State University.

He had designs on the starting running back position at YSU and a promise he could help coach at Fitch.

Then, in January 2017, he and others broke into an Austintown apartment and demanded “weed and money” at gunpoint.

Hewlett didn’t wield the gun, but his actions still earned him four years in prison Friday.

“Coach Tressel, now [YSU] President [James P.] Tressel, says, ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future,” said Judge Lou A. D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. “In this case, that’s exactly what happened.”

Hewlett’s attorney, A. Ross Douglas, characterized his actions as “out of character.”

“This is not the type of life my client ever envisioned for himself,” Douglas said.

He said Hewlett developed an addiction to marijuana and alcohol, which he said does not excuse his actions but explains them.

Read more about the case in Saturday's Vindicator or on

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