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Former ‘Idol’ hopeful pleads guilty in shooting

Leroy Wells was already in jail when his performance aired in January
/ Source: The Associated Press

A former “American Idol” hopeful has pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in a 2005 shooting at a convenience store.

Leroy Wells, 24, of Grand Bay, was accused of shooting 22-year-old Daniel Cutts, also of Grand Bay, on June 7, 2005. Cutts suffered minor injuries when he was struck three times with bullets fired from a .22-caliber pistol.

A judge on Monday ordered Wells to serve a 10-year suspended sentence, with one year in jail, as part of a plea deal that reduced an attempted murder charge to second-degree assault. The deal prohibits Wells from possessing firearms.

Wells, who didn’t make the cut on “American Idol,” has been arrested several times in the past three years on charges ranging from discharging a gun into an occupied building to the use and possession of drug paraphernalia, Mobile County court records show.

He was in jail when his taped performance aired Jan. 15, 2005, on the fourth season of the Fox talent competition.