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December 11, 2017

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Son of ex-Rep. Conyers not prosecuted in domestic abuse case

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Ricardo Thomas / Detroit News via AP

In this July 16, 2011 photo, John Conyers III poses with his father Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., in Detroit. John Conyers’ resignation from the U.S. House amid sexual harassment allegations unlocks the seat he’s held for more than a half-century. The 88-year-old endorsed his son, political neophyte John Conyers III.

LOS ANGELES — 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.

Conyers told The New York Times in a story published Wednesday evening that the woman cut herself during the struggle and he was "regretful for any part I played in escalating the altercation."

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 did not respond to messages sent to his social media pages Wednesday night and the Los Angeles attorney who represented him in the criminal case didn't immediately comment.

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.

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.

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.