- Associated Press - Thursday, July 17, 2014

ABERDEEN, Miss. (AP) - A federal judge is granting Dwight Bowling the opportunity to appeal the sentence handed down on enticement of a child charges.

Bowling, a former Mississippi and Alabama football coach, pleaded guilty to federal charges in April of 2011 and was sentenced later that year to 300 months in prison.

Prosecutors had recommended 135 to 168 months, but the judge used an upward variance in sending Bowling to prison.

An appeal was filed, but according to the order issued Wednesday, it was filed after a 14-day deadline.

Bowling’s former attorney Christy McCoy says he instructed her not to file another court document on his behalf and she was following his instructions.

She felt the Aug. 30, 2011 discussion was the equivalent to him firing her.

In his ruling issued, U.S. District Judge Glen Davidson said McCoy was court appointed and as such, couldn’t be terminated by Bowling. He said McCoy couldn’t stop acting on Bowling’s behalf without a court ruling.

Davidson said there was an apparent miscommunication between the two because McCoy was involved in his federal and state defenses, civil lawsuits and a divorce proceeding as Bowling’s attorney.

Davidson, in his order, directed to court clerk to reinstate the 2011 judgment issued by the late U.S. District Judge Allen Pepper Jr.

Once the judgment is reinstated, the deadline to appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will be reset to 14 days.

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.

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