Former ‘American Idol’ Contestant Faces Possible Involuntary Manslaughter Charge

Jaered Andrews' preliminary hearing scheduled for March 14.

First, Fox’s “American Idol” cut semifinalist Frenchie Davis from the show when provocative photos of the singer surfaced on an Internet porn site. Then “Idol” contestant Jaered Andrews was dropped without explanation. Even though Fox refuses to comment, it has come to light the reason Andrews was dropped was because he might have accidentally killed someone.

In November, Andrews allegedly assaulted 39-year-old Thomas Blakeley outside the Blue Ribbon Grille in Farrell, Pennsylvania, in an incident that led to Blakeley’s death. Andrews and friends were reportedly celebrating his status as an “Idol” semifinalist in the hours before the incident.

Robert Kochems, district attorney of Mercer County, says Andrews punched Blakeley in the face, who then fell backward onto the concrete, smacking the back of his head and causing his brain to hit the front of his skull, resulting in his death. “It’s called a counter coup injury,” Kochems said. “It’s the same thing that happens with shaken baby syndrome.”

According to an affadavit filed February 27, Andrews has been charged with simple assault in conjunction with the episode. Kochems says authorities are considering charging him with involuntary manslaughter as well. A preliminary hearing is currently scheduled for March 14.

Fox still refuses to disclose why Andrews was dropped.

“All the candidates on ’American Idol’ are subject to disqualification at the producers’ discretion,” a Fox publicity representative said. “We do not comment on the personal lives of our contestants.”