LOS ANGELES (AP) — The son of former Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who's a possible candidate for his father's vacated U.S. House seat, was arrested in February in Los Angeles after his girlfriend told police he body-slammed and then stabbed her during an argument, but prosecutors declined to bring charges.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday show John Conyers III's girlfriend had a small cut to her arm. Prosecutors said they didn't have independent witnesses and didn't believe they could prove the victim's injuries weren't accidental.
The arrest was first reported by NBC.
Conyers, 27, told police he accidentally stabbed her after she threatened him with a knife, he disarmed her and they struggled. The girlfriend said she grabbed the knife for protection after he body-slammed her, pinned her down and spit on her. She said he took the knife from her and cut her.
The woman told authorities the incident began when he accused her of cheating on him after checking her computer.
After his girlfriend filed for a restraining order in March, Conyers responded in court documents, saying she has "a history of mental illness and has made previous false allegations." A judge granted the restraining order, which remains in effect until March 2018.
"The entire incident was a result of an accident. He had confronted her that she was cheating on him and she got violent," said Jerome Bradford, the attorney who represented Conyers in the criminal case.
"I believe what happened that night was a result of Mr. Conyers breaking up with her after he discovered she was being untrue," Bradford said. "I believe that that's what it is all about — a scorned woman."
A photo included in court records showed the wound, which appeared to be a few inches long and was stitched closed. The records also included photos of bruises, which the woman said came from being grabbed by Conyers in July 2016.
Conyers' girlfriend said he grabbed her and pushed her to the ground in the summer of 2016, though he said she fell, according to the woman's account in court documents. His girlfriend also said he put her in a headlock while he was driving in January and pulled her body across the passenger's seat of the car while yelling at her.
Bradford said witnesses disputed the woman's allegations and he believed she "was exaggerating."
A report from the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said that neither Conyers nor his girlfriend have criminal histories or reported domestic violence incidents.
Conyers did not respond to messages sent to his social media pages Wednesday night.
"My experience with John is he has no history of being violent," Bradford said. "He's a true intellectual."
The elder Conyers resigned Tuesday amid sexual harassment allegations and has endorsed his son to replace him in Congress. John Conyers III has posted on Twitter that he hasn't decided whether he wants to run for his father's old seat.
John Conyers III is a partner for a Detroit-based, minority-run hedge fund.
Karoub reported from Detroit.