Feds serve notice about graphic Bowling trial evidence

By Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal

OXFORD – Prosecutors gave notice Friday that they’ll present graphic testimony and other evidence against former Smithville coaching icon Dwight Bowling.

Bowling, 53, is scheduled to go on trial May 9 in U.S. District Court in Greenville.

He pleaded not guilty Sept. 29 to a five-count federal indictment accusing him of trying to tamper with a witness and four counts of coercing a minor into having sex with him.

While he was head football coach at Sulligent, Ala., he was arrested by federal authorities on accusations he transported minor males from Mississippi to Alabama for sex.

Friday, in anticipation of the federal trial, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford gave notice that it will offer testimony from four minors and others “who will testify that Bowling engaged in similar acts with them while he was their football coach and teacher.”

The testimony, prosecutors say, will include accusations that Bowling tried to touch private areas of their bodies and to engage in sexual intercourse with them at Bowling’s home, while fishing or at high school athletic complexes.

The witnesses were ages 13-18, when the alleged acts occurred, the court filing says.

Prosecutors also say the trial testimony will be offered to show motive, opportunity, intent, a pattern of activity and other alleged aspects of the charges.

Bowling’s attorneys could not be reached for comment.

Mississippi charges in Monroe and Itawamba counties accused him of fondling, sexual battery and child exploitation.

His attorneys also entered not-guilty pleas to those charges. He has been held in the Lafayette County Detention Center since soon after his arrest in mid-September.

No trial dates are set yet on the state charges.

If convicted of all charges, at his age, he faces a virtual life sentence.