Saturday, September 30, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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Ex Claims Athlete-Politician Choked Her

LOUISVILLE (CN) - A pro football player-turned Kentucky politician tried to strangle his girlfriend when she threatened to call the police on him, the woman claims in court.

April Smith sued Christopher Thieneman on claims of fourth-degree assault and common law battery, in Jefferson County Court.

Christopher Thieneman was arrested and charged with wanton endangerment in September, and ordered to have no contact with Smith. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bond.

Thieneman was an honorable mention All-American at the University of Louisville in 1986, then played football in the World League of American Football and the Canadian Football League. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Louisville and for the state Senate, in a brief political career.

In her lawsuit, Smith claims she had to abandon her car on a Louisville road on Sept. 16 when Thieneman left the car with her cell phone.

Smith claims she proceeded to walk to work to call police, but when she opened the door Thieneman shoved his way in and "pushed April, but she was able to get to the telephone in her place of business."

"Christopher Thieneman then grabbed the telephone from April and when she tried to grab the telephone back, Christopher Thieneman put his arm around her neck and tried to strangle her. April was able to get free and call the police," according to the complaint.

Thieneman's political career in Louisville has been controversial. In a 2010 interview with the Courier-Journal's editorial board, he allegedly admitted giving a government official a $10,000 campaign contribution to approve a zoning change for a trailer park.

In 2012, Thieneman was sued while running for state senator by a citizen who claimed that Thieneman did not live in the district he wanted to represent.

Despite a court order requiring Thieneman to produce utility records to determine his residency, he never complied and the case was passed.

Smith seeks punitive damages for assault.

She is represented by Thomas Clay, with Clay, Daniel, Walton and Adams.

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