STILLWATER — An argument with an ex-girlfriend triggered a chain of events that has Bo Bowling facing felony and misdemeanor drug charges and an uncertain future with the Oklahoma State football team. Stillwater police arrived at Bowling’s house just before 1 a.m. on Feb. 8 to find Tristan Johnson, 21, sitting on the street curb amid an argument with Bowling after the couple had broken up. Johnson was called as a witness for the prosecution in Bowling’s preliminary hearing in Payne County court on Friday, where she admitted that she had been drinking heavily that night, a combination of beer and vodka shots, on top of her own prescription antidepressants and a Xanax pill she received from Bowling. A friend had called police out of concern for Johnson’s well-being because of her erratic emotional condition, according to the testimony of officer Adam Elliott, who arrived at Bowling’s home at 12:45 a.m. for a standard welfare check. Less than six hours later, Bowling had been charged with drug and paraphernalia possession. At the preliminary hearing, Bowling’s attorney, Cheryl Ramsey, accused Stillwater police officers of "fishing” for evidence without probable cause and unlawfully detaining Bowling in his home before being granted a search warrant. But Ramsey’s motion to suppress the evidence found in the search was denied by Payne County Special District Judge Phillip Corley on Friday, which leaves Bowling facing trial, his status with the Cowboys in doubt. After calming the argument in Bowling’s front yard, Elliott took Johnson into custody on an emergency order of protection and drove her to the hospital for observation. He testified that during that time, Johnson offered detailed information of drugs in Bowling’s bedroom. Johnson testified that she did not remember many of the details of the night, including most of her conversations with police, because she had "blacked out.” But it was her information that led Elliott and two other officers back to Bowling’s home at approximately 4 a.m. In speaking with the officers, Bowling admitted that marijuana had been smoked in his garage earlier that night and he gave the officers permission to search only the garage, Elliott testified. Elliott said he left the residence to obtain a search warrant, which was executed two hours later and turned up the items that led to Bowling being charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, misdemeanor possession of controlled dangerous substances (Xanax, Ephedrine and the anabolic steroid Stanozolol) and misdemeanor unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Bowling had left his home before Elliott returned with the warrant, but he voluntarily appeared in court two days later, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He must appear in court May 8 for trial on the three counts.
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What’s next for Bowling?With the court denying his attorney’s motion to suppress evidence and dismiss the charges against him, suspended Oklahoma State football player Bo Bowling now awaits his trial date on felony and misdemeanor drug charges. Bowling will be back in a Payne County courtroom on May 8 for trial. His status with the football team remains in question and likely will stay that way until his legal matter is settled. By Scott Wright