by Eric Sandy
In a YouTube video that went positively viral, Matthew Cordle, 22, said he was prepared to accept a hefty sentence after he killed a man during a drunken driving accident over the summer.
Looks like Cordle will be doing just that.
Today, Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge David Fais sentenced Cordle to six and a half years in prison for aggravated vehicular homicide.
Prosecutor Ron O’Brien argued that Cordle deserved the maximum sentence of eight years, in part, because Cordle omitted saying the two little words "I'm sorry," in his video confession.
Cordle’s lawyers however, countered that he actually deserved less time, since Cordle had already expressed deep remorse for his actions and for taking the life of 61-year-old Vincent Canzani.
Fais said that over the holiday season, he would like to use Cordle's offense as a message to the public-
“What I would like to see is a billboard that says, ‘I’m Matthew Cordle. I pleaded guilty to OVI ... I killed a man. Don’t drink and drive,’ the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Toward the end of the hearing, Cordle issued this statement:
“There is no fair sentence when it comes to losing a life,” he said. “It should have been me that night ... instead of an innocent man.” (A.M.)
Update II: It probably seemed obvious, but the case of the guy publicly admitting to murder-by-drunk-driving is moving ahead at a clunky pace.
As the Dispatch reports, the assumed plan was that Matthew Cordle would plead guilty before Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Julie Lynch. That notion, of course, is derived from his YouTube video. Here's how that went:
...his attorneys had said yesterday that he would plead not guilty before Lynch, so the case could be randomly assigned to a trial judge before whom he would quickly plead guilty.
Cordle’s failure to enter a plea “calls into question the validity of being so forthcoming in his YouTube video” about his intent to plead guilty, the judge said after the brief hearing.
He'll be arraigned today, and attorneys hope to have him released from jail on bond.
Update I: Matthew Cordle, the Columbus man who recently produced a powerful online video in which he confesses to killing a man during a drunken driving accident over the summer, has been indicted on a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide.
Cordle is expected to surrender and be booked at the Franklin County Jail this afternoon, authorities told The Columbus Dispatch. A charge of this sort can carry up to eight and a half years in prison.
Following the crash, Cordle’s blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.19 percent, more than twice the 0.08 legal level for motorists.
Cordle also was indicted on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Since the video was posted on Tuesday, it has recorded over 1.2 million views.
You can watch the YouTube clip below.
Matthew Cordle, 22, posted this confession video at becauseisaidiwould.com, admitting that he killed Vincent Canzani, 62, in a drunk driving crash earlier this summer.
It's an intense monologue, the kinda thing that almost never surfaces in the wake of a tragedy like Canzani's death. The pivotal moment in the video, when the dramatic music drops out, comes when Cordle pleads with his audience: “I beg you, and I say the word beg specifically, I’m begging you, please don’t drink and drive. Don’t make the same excuses that I did. Don’t say it's only a few miles or you’ve only had a few beers."
Cordle has not yet been charged. “When I get charged, I will plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I’ve done to Vincent and his family,” he says.
His message stands in stark contrast to Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed, who's garnered three DUI convictions. He was sentenced today to 10 days in jail, all of which follow his own "not guilty" plea.