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Ex-football coach Bowling hearing set for Tuesday

 

The Associated Press

 

ABERDEEN -- A federal judge will hear arguments Tuesday from a former Mississippi and Alabama prep football coach on a motion challenging his sentence on charges that he transported boys across state lines for sex. 

 

U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson has scheduled the hearing in Aberdeen, Mississippi. The hearing originally was scheduled for June. 

 

Dwight Bowling pleaded guilty in 2011 to numerous state and federal charges related to sex acts with boys. He was sentenced in federal court to 25 years. In state court, he was sentenced to 35 years. He also pleaded guilty to attempting to tamper with a potential witness's testimony. 

 

Bowling coached for 28 years at Smithville, Mississippi, before retiring and coaching at Sulligent High in Sulligent, Alabama. The molestations alleged in his indictment are said to have happened between 2004 and 2010. 

 

Bowling was coaching for the Alabama school when he was arrested Sept. 18, 2010, in Mississippi on his way home from a game. Authorities said a 13-year-old boy who was with Bowling at the time of his arrest accused him of improper touching. 

 

The investigation uncovered at least four victims, boys between the ages of 13 and 18. 

 

Bowling had a previous appeal dismissed from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012. 

 

Bowling filed a motion to vacate his sentence last September. 

 

Bowling argued his attorney, Christi McCoy, didn't file his sentencing appeal within the given time frame and was therefore ineffective counsel. But, in an email exchange included in the motion, he essentially fired McCoy, told her he doesn't plan to pay his final bill and told her he is asking for another attorney. 

 

He also told her he didn't want to spend another penny fighting the case. 

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul D. Roberts, in his response to the motion, said Bowling's explicit instructions to his counsel not to file an appeal preclude any complaint that his attorney violated his rights when she followed his instructions. 

 

Roberts said Bowling must be able to show he requested an appeal and did not prevent his counsel from filing the notice of appeal to prove ineffective assistance of counsel.

 

 

 

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