Monroe County grand jury indicts former football coach Bowling

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – The attorney for coaching icon Dwight Bowling has asked for another delay in his federal trial on sex-with-minors charges, which is scheduled for Jan. 3.
Meanwhile, Bowling now faces eight new counts after being indicted by a Monroe County grand jury in connection with the investigation.
Attorney Christi R. McCoy of Oxford on Tuesday asked U.S. District Court Judge W. Allen Pepper Jr., who presides over the case, for more time to prepare Bowling’s defense.
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.
District Attorney John Young said Monday that no state trial dates have been set yet, although Bowling has been indicted and arraigned in Itawamba County.
On Wednesday, authorities said a Monroe County grand jury has indicted Bowling on eight counts related to the investigation. He was charged with three counts of fondling, two counts of sexual battery, two counts of child exploitation, and one count of bribery of a witness.
Arraignment is set for Jan. 5 in Monroe County Circuit Court.
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 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.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.