DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Crime

"Idol" Finalist Has Five Active Arrest Warrants

Jermaine Jones may get boot for hiding record

Jermaine Jones

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Idol's Jermaine Jones

MARCH 14--The “American Idol” contestant expected to be booted from the show tonight is the subject of five outstanding arrest warrants in New Jersey, The Smoking Gun has learned.

Jermaine Jones, 25, is wanted in three separate counties for failing to appear in court on a variety of criminal charges dating back to 2006, according to court records. His two most recent arrests came last year in Camden County, where he works as a vocal instructor.

The oldest warrant stems from a 2006 narcotics bust in Salem County. Jones’s next collar came in 2008 in Woodbury, where he was cited on an open container charge. In 2009 he was nabbed for providing cops with a false name in Winslow Township.

Jones's first arrest in 2011 came in March, when he provided a cop with the false name "Joel Jones" to "avoid being apprehended on outstanding warrants for his arrest," according to a criminal complaint. He was nabbed in late-November for again giving false information to a police officer. This time, he claimed to be "Kareem D. Watkins" in "an attempt to avoid arrest for numerous outstanding warrants for his arrest," according to a Municipal Court criminal complaint.

In a written statement, Lt. Christopher Jones of the Gloucester Township Police Department provided details about Jones’s two arrests last year. The March 2011 hindering apprehension bust came after police responded to a Howard Johnson Inn “for a report of a disturbance.” When officers spoke with Jones, he provided them with a phony name. The November 27 arrest came after a car in which Jones was a passenger was pulled over in a traffic stop. “During the course of the motor vehicle stop and subsequent investigation, the passenger, later identified as Jermaine Jones, provided a false name to the officers.” He was again busted for hindering apprehension.

Jones was due to appear on both cases in mid-December, but he did not show up in Municipal Court. As a result, failure to appear warrants were issued for both offenses.

In a Twitter post last night, Jones reported, “Awww I will no longer b on the show.” While he did not expound further on his departure from the Fox TV hit, he apparently has been bounced for failing to disclose his arrest history to the show’s producers.

Jones was one of the final dozen competitors on the program.

So how did "Idol"'s crackerjack background investigators fail to sniff out Jones’s rap sheet? For that answer, we'd point to Fox's history of failing to adequately vet  reality show contestants like Corey Clark, Frenchie Davis, Bo Bice, Scott Savol, Lashundra Cobbins, the Brittenum brothers, Jaered Andrews, Sarah Kozer, and--the father of them all--Rick Rockwell. (3 pages)