Man who confesses on YouTube to killing man in drunk driving incident pleads guilty in court
(CNN) — An Ohio judge has accepted the guilty plea of Matthew Cordle, a man who confessed in an online video to killing a man in a June drunken-driving crash.
Cordle, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony count of aggravated vehicular homicide and a misdemeanor count of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, faces a prison sentence of between two and eight years. Sentencing has been scheduled for October 10.
Cordle’s YouTube confession doesn’t beat around the bush: “I killed a man.”
The Ohio man said in a video posted on the Internet that he killed 61-year-old Vincent Canzani in a drunken-driving crash in June 2013.
“I take full responsibility for everything I’ve done to Vincent and his family,” Cordle says in the video.
The 22-year-old has not been charged with any crime, but Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Cordle is a suspect in the deadly crash and a grand jury will be asked to indict him for aggravated vehicular homicide.
The video is well-produced and powerful. Cordle’s face is blurred as he begins to tell his story about being out with friend, drinking heavily and losing control the night of June 22.
Story continues after video
Attorneys that he consulted with offered to help him avoid any punishment — “all I had to do was lie” — but he decided to come forward instead.
And he wants his video to be a warning to others.
“I can’t bring Mr. Canzani back, and I can’t erase what I’ve done, but you can still be saved, your victims can still be saved,” he says on the video.
When he gets charged, he will plead guilty, Cordle added.
The video was posted on a website called “because I said I would,” which provides a forum for people to make promises to others.
The founder of the website, Alex Sheen, said Cordle reached out to him via Facebook.
“There are a lot of emotions and parties at play here, so we stay in touch as much as possible,” Sheen said. “Matt is doing as well as he can. He’s upset that people are calling his act of confession ‘courageous’ rather than focusing on the real issue: drinking and driving kills innocent people.”
Cordle’s current attorney did not immediately respond to an after-hours call from CNN.
Canzani was driving a Jeep when he was struck by a wrong-way driver on I-670 near Columbus, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
A Toyota Tundra was driving in the wrong direction and hit the Jeep about 3 a.m.
Canzani was declared dead at the scene. The newspaper story did not name Cordle.
Canzani was a veteran and gifted photographer, according to his obituary.
He studied at Columbus College of Art and Design and served in the Navy as a missile technician in the Naval Submarine Service from 1980 to 1986, the obituary states.
CNN’s Pamela Brown and Kevin Conlon contributed to this report.