Bohnert found guilty of DWI

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kevin P. Bohnert, 48, former athletic director of Jackson High School, was found guilty Thursday of driving while intoxicated and failure to drive on the right half of the roadway, but not guilty on marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession charges.

Associate Circuit Judge Joe Z. Satterfield issued the ruling Thursday after a bench trial in Stoddard County on Sept. 19.

Bohnert was sentenced to six months in the county jail on the DWI count, according to a news release from the prosecuting attorney's office, but Satterfield imposed a suspended execution of sentence, meaning if he completes two years of probation successfully, he could avoid jail time. Satterfield also fined Bohnert $700. Bohnert was arrested June 8 after a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer pulled his red Lincoln LS over for erratic driving on U.S. 61 north of Jackson. Bohnert failed a field sobriety test, according to a probable-cause statement. A small amount of marijuana was found in his car, according to a sworn statement.

At the bench trial, Bohnert's attorney argued the marijuana and pipe belonged to someone else. Other people, including strangers, had been in his car at the concert.

Cpl. Doug McDaniel, the state trooper who arrested Bohnert, testified that once he took Bohnert back to the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department, a breathalyzer test showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.11, and Bohnert admitted to drinking at a Ted Nugent concert in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

When asked about the pipe and marijuana, Bohnert said "can't we just forget about that?" McDaniel testified. A sheriff's deputy testified that Bohnert admitted to smoking pot that night, which Bohnert later denied during his own testimony.

He also said people were in and out of his car all night because he had a cooler full of beer inside, and that he didn't even know the marijuana was in the car when he was pulled over.

On June 26, Bohnert resigned as Jackson's athletic director after a nearly 13-year tenure, during which Jackson was the only area school to attend the MSHSAA Sportsmanship Summit in 2004, and became one of the first schools to offer an award praising good sportsmanship from opponents.

Jackson also received recognition in March as an MSHSAA Leadership School for the second straight year.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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