''Idol'' semifinalist is arrested for assault. Jaered Andrews, disqualified in January, allegedly took part in a bar brawl in November that left a man dead

March 03, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

When ”American Idol” semifinalist Jaered Andrews was disqualified at the end of January and booted off the show, Fox declined to say why. Maybe it had something to do with his alleged involvement in a bar brawl in November that left a man dead. According to The Smoking Gun, police in Farrell, Pa., issued a warrant for Andrews’ arrest in connection with the brawl on Thursday, and he surrendered to the police the next day and was charged with simple assault.

According to the criminal complaint posted at The Smoking Gun, Andrews and a friend got into an argument with Thomas Blakely at Farrell’s Blue Ribbon Grille during the wee hours of Nov. 16. Andrews told police that he hit Blakely once in the face, and that Blakely fell backwards and struck his head on the sidewalk outside the bar, the complaint says. An autopsy determined that the force of Blakely’s head striking the pavement killed him. Andrews is free on $5,000 bond and must face the misdemeanor charge in a preliminary hearing on March 7.

It’s not clear if Fox knew of the alleged assault when it booted Andrews on Jan. 30. The network never gave an official reason for his dismissal, though reports at the time suggested that Andrews was disqualified because he was already a professional performer, a member of a rap group in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. A Fox rep did not return EW.com’s calls seeking comment by press time.

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