Loudon County woman charged with stealing from little leaguers

A Loudon County woman is out on bond, charged with stealing thousands of dollars from a little league football club.

April Bowen, 32, is charged with theft, accused of stealing between $20,000 and $25,000 from the Loudon Quarterback Club.

The little league football club has four teams of players and cheerleaders, ages 5 through 13.

A grand jury indicted Bowen, the former secretary-treasurer for the club, this week. She was arrested Thursday and quickly bonded out.

Club President Gary Whitfield says the case began to unravel several months ago. That's when he got a call from Wal-Mart saying club money was being used for things you wouldn't find a on a football field.

"She was going to Wal-Mart, buying thongs, bras, with Quarterback Club checks, and hot dog buns, all in one shot," said James Hawkins, a club parent.

Hawkins said Bowen stole application fees, gate and concession money.

He says, because of the stolen money, the players almost didn't get uniforms. But, the parents took up a collection and managed to buy the jerseys.

Still, they're angry and say they want Bowen to see jail time.

"We, as the parents, elected this woman because everybody trusted her, and she let us all down," said club parent Jenny Silvey. "She threw it, I mean, I just don't see how you could just throw it in the wind."

Bowen's attorney, T. Scott Jones, says he and his client expected to work out the situation without criminal charges and that they were surprised by the indictment.

"We are cooperating fully with the investigation," Jones said. "We're anxious to work this out in the best interests of the kids."

Bowen is married to a Loudon County sheriff's deputy. Because of that, some parents worried she may get a break on the charges.

But the chief of the Lenoir City Police Department, the agency conducting the investigation, says that's not the case. He adds Bowen's husband is not facing any charges in connection with the case.
Brittany Bailey
Amanda Dill , Producer   WBIR.com
Last updated: 12/16/2006 2:17:26 AM