"American Idol" Finalist Nabbed For Assault

Jaered Andrews

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"American Idol" Finalist Nabbed For Assault

MEMO: Fox reality contestants held like enemy combatants.

MARCH 3---An Ohio man selected this year as an "American Idol" finalist has been charged with assault in connection with a bar fight that ended in the death of a 39-year-old partygoer.

Jaered Andrews surrendered to police Friday on a warrant charging him with the assault of Thomas Blakeley, who died on the sidewalk outside a Farrell, Pennsylvania bar. According to police, Andrews (pictured in the mug shot at left) and some friends were in the Blue Ribbon Grille last November 16 celebrating his selection as an "American Idol" semifinalist when they began arguing with Blakeley.

Andrews told police, according to a criminal complaint, that he punched Blakeley once in the face, causing the man to fall back and strike his head on the pavement outside the club. While prone, Blakeley was allegedly struck twice by Jerrold Allen, an Andrews crony who has been charged with aggravated assault.

An autopsy found that Blakeley died of blunt force trauma to the head as a result of his skull hitting the pavement.

On January 30, after Andrews was selected as one of the 32 "American Idol" finalists, Fox disqualified the Youngstown, Ohio singer, though the network refused to disclose the reason. Released on $5000 bond, Andrews faces a March 7 District Court preliminary hearing on the misdemeanor assault charge. (3 pages)

Why "Idol" finalist Frenchie Davis was bounced.