By Jeff Clark/Monroe Journal
ABERDEEN – Former Smithville football coach Dwight Bowling had formal charges presented against in Monroe County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
Bowling’s arraignment before Circuit Judge James L. Roberts stems from his recent indictment by a Monroe County grand jury on three counts of fondling, two counts of sexual battery, two counts of child exploitation and one count of bribery of a witness.
Bowling, 55, also faces federal charges and has been indicted in Itawamba County as well.
Lori Basham of Fulton represented him in court Wednesday.
Shackled and wearing an orange Lafayette County Adult Detention Center jumpsuit, Bowling briefly hugged family members after entering the courthouse.
He will enter his pleas in Monroe County Circuit Court on Feb. 7.
Bowling was arrested by federal authorities Sept. 17 on his way back to his Smithville home after a win by the Sulligent, Ala., High School Blue Devils, where he was coaching.
He is being held in the Lafayette County Adult Detention Center without bond on federal charges of obstructing a criminal investigation and four specific charges of crossing state lines to engage in sexual activity with a minor.
The judge noted that because Bowling is in federal custody, state bond cannot be set yet.
“However, if and when you are eligible,” Roberts said, “we will consider setting a bond for you.”
In late 2010, Bowling was indicted in Itawamba County on five charges related to his alleged sexual relationship with three minors.
His federal trial is scheduled to begin March 7 in Greenville.