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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Will Da'Quan Bowers get the benefit of the doubt from prosecutors?

Da'Quan Bowers, who registered three sacks coming off the bench, is possibly in line to take over a starting role with left defensive end Michael Bennett scheduled to become a free agent next month.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Da'Quan Bowers, who registered three sacks coming off the bench, is possibly in line to take over a starting role with left defensive end Michael Bennett scheduled to become a free agent next month.

19

February

The Bucs might have harbored concerns about Da’Quan Bowers’ ability to stay healthy given his recent history. But one thing no one has obsessed over is whether he could stay out of trouble.

Bowers has consistently been a player of high character since joining the Bucs in 2011, a guy known to play guitar in his late father’s gospel band during its travels around the Southeast U.S.

That’s why seeing Bowers involved in a messy situation involving felony possession of a handgun on Monday was surprising, to say the least.

Not surprising were the apparent circumstances, which seem to involve no ill intent: We’re told Bowers unwittingly carried the gun on his last-minute flight to New York from North Carolina before the weekend, only to realize after his arrival that it was in his checked bag.

How does that happen? As told to us, Bowers' girlfriend surprised him with the trip and they left the same day, packing in a hurry to catch their outbound flight. It appears he tried to do what he thought was the right thing before returning Monday morning, informing airline personnel about the weapon while seeking to transport it back to North Carolina.

But that ultimately didn’t matter because, under New York law, Bowers’ crime was the mere possession of the gun. As explained by one source Monday evening, Bowers' ignorance is not a exactly a legal defense, even though Bowers seemingly was unaware of his alleged offense and tried deal with it responsibly.

The point here is that Bowers’ character makes you want to give him the benefit of the doubt. He has no history of violence or wrongdoing that brings into question his motive for having the firearm. And the gun apparently is registered to him, though not in New York.

Bowers has already retained a New York attorney who is highly skilled in dealing with these cases. And Bowers can make a compelling case that this was an honest mistake.

Whether prosecutors see it that way is what is going to ultimately decide what happens to Bowers and – at least in the short term – his football career.



[Last modified: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:58am]

    

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