Former coach Bowling seeks review of federal sentence



By Patsy R. Brumfield

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Former Smithville coach Dwight Bowling asked the U.S. District Court to set aside or reconsider his sentence to multiple guilty pleas that he transported minor males across state lines for sex.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to tamper with a potential witness’ testimony.

Bowling’s motion filed Thursday states that even though he should have received a sentence in the 135-168 months range, then-Judge W. Allen Pepper was wrong to boost his time to 300 months because the government did not ask for a stronger sentence.

The 58-year-old’s 2010 arrests and indictments sent shockwaves through the Northeast Mississippi athletics community. He was a widely known championship coach and had written a book about his coaching philosophy.

In appealing for leniency, he blames his trial attorney, Christi R. McCoy, for missing an appeals deadline with the 5th Circuit.

Shortly after the filing, McCoy told the Daily Journal she wasn’t surprised since “Bowling and members of his family blamed everyone but Mr. Bowling for the circumstances.”

“Mr. Bowling was very clear in his desire that I not file another document on this behalf,” she noted, saying she is confident she followed and exceeded “every facet” of her responsibilities and rules of professional conduct in the case.

McCoy asked Pepper to appoint new counsel for Bowling after she said difficulties arose between them, but the judge denied the change.

He’s now represented by Vicki Gilliam of Clinton and Brandi Gatewood of Ocean Springs.

Bowling also asks for a hearing on his issues.

In parallel state indictments, Bowling pleaded guilty to sexual fondling of minor males and to attempting to get a witness to lie about their relationship.

He received a lengthy sentence from Judge James L. Roberts Jr. The sentence will run in state prison after Bowling’s release from federal prison.

He’s serving his federal time at Oakdale, La. Without a change, his release date is in 2032.

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