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Hickman football coach pleads guilty to DWI

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | 1:23 p.m. CDT; updated 7:18 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

COLUMBIA — Hickman High School's head football coach has pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated.

Arnel Monroe, 47, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges Tuesday. He received a suspended sentence of 30 days in jail and two years' unsupervised probation.

Monroe was arrested July 6 at a sobriety checkpoint on Clark Lane. Officers at the scene said Monroe's eyes were "watery, glassy and bloodshot" and detected a "moderate strong odor of intoxicants" on Monroe, according to the probable-cause statement. 

The Columbia Police Department then administered two sobriety tests on Monroe and measured his blood-alcohol content at 0.111 percent and 0.12 percent. 

In a statement the next day, Monroe maintained his innocence in a statement that read, in part, "I will seek redress of this situation through my legal counsel and to that end maintain my innocence.”

But in a Wednesday statement texted to the Missourian, Monroe said: "I have accepted complete responsibility for my lack of judgment. I apologize from the bottom of my heart to my family, both at home and at school, as well as to Kewpie fans and supporters everywhere. I thank everyone for their support as we move forward."

It is unclear how the guilty plea will affect his position as head coach of the Hickman High School football team, and Michelle Baumstark, a spokeswoman for Columbia Public Schools, said she was unable to comment on future personnel matters regarding Monroe.

As of Wednesday morning, Monroe was still an employee of Columbia Public Schools, Baumstark said. He has been holding summer workouts with the team since his arrest.

Monroe, who is set to begin his fourth season as Hickman's head coach, did not respond to questions concerning his continued employment.

He was previously arrested and charged with a DWI in 2006, according to previous Missourian reporting. He pleaded guilty and served two years' probation, which he successfully completed in 2008.

In October 2013, he was suspended from coaching and teaching duties for nearly two weeks for an unspecified personnel matter, according to previous Missourian reporting.

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.


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