Bowling counsel asks for Jan. 3 trial delay

By Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal

OXFORD – Coaching icon Dwight Bowling is still scheduled for trial Jan. 3 on charges he took minors to Alabama to have sex with them.

But his attorney, Christi R. McCoy of Oxford, late Tuesday asked the court for more time to prepare his defense. Prosecutors do not object, she said in her motion to U.S. District Court Judge W. Allen Pepper Jr., who presides over the case.

Bowling was arrested in mid-September on federal and state charges that he engaged in sexual acts with minors while he was the head football coach in Smithville and later at Sulligent, Ala. He also was indicted federally on one count that he tried to stop a witness from speaking with investigators.

Bowling already has received one delay from a Nov. 8 trial date.

First District Attorney John Young said Monday that no state trial dates have been set yet, although Bowling’s been indicted and arraigned in Itawamba County.

He said he anticipates a Monroe County grand jury report about charges there soon, perhaps this week.

Federal prosecutor Paul D. Roberts said through a spokesman Monday that the trial is still on the court calendar for Jan. 3.

After Bowling was indicted by a federal grand jury, he was charged with similar acts in Monroe and Itawamba counties.

Alabama authorities, who said a few months ago they intended to pursue charges, said nothing new has occurred there relating to Bowling. He is alleged to have committed sexual acts at the Sulligent Field House.

In late September, Sheriff Terry Perkins of Lamar County, Ala., said that results of his office’s investigation will go to the February 2011 term of the grand jury.

Bowling, 55, faces up to life in prison if he is convicted on the federal charges. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Bowling spent 28 years coaching at Smithville and, throughout the region’s high school athletics world, was known for his championship teams. About five years ago, he retired and took a similar job at Sulligent. He’s on administrative leave from that job until his legal problems conclude.

Since shortly after his arrest, he has been held without bond in the Lafayette County Detention Center.