FILE- This Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, file photo shows Matthew Cordle, right, and his attorney, Martin Midian in court in Columbus, Ohio. Cordle, who confessed in an online video to causing a fatal wrong-way crash after a night of heavy drinking, will plead guilty to the crime on Wednesday, Sept 18, 2013, according to his attorneys. (AP Photo/Mike Munden, File)
COLUMBUS, Ohio– Confronted at a hospital by police who said he’d just killed a man, drunk driver Matthew Cordle was angry and in denial.
“He became very irate, and began yelling, he didn’t kill anyone, he didn’t do it, and he wasn’t going to give them any blood sample,” Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Wednesday.
Sober and in recovery, Cordle had a change of heart. He decided to plead guilty as quickly as possible, and made an online video confessing to the crime. He didn’t waver from the position he took in the Sept. 3 video, and on Wednesday he made good on his pledge and pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide.
“I drank so much I was blacked out,” Cordle told Franklin County Judge David Fais near the end of a 38-minute hearing.
“So I would say this was a binge drinking situation, correct, Mr. Cordle?” Fais asked.
“Yes, your honor,” Cordle said.
His guilty plea came just over a week after he was indicted, light speed compared to most court cases which can drag on for weeks or months.
Sentencing was set for Oct. 10. Cordle, 22, faces two to 8 1/2 years in prison, a $15,000 fine and loss of driving privileges for life. He also pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. His blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.
In a 3 1/2-minute video posted two weeks ago, Cordle admitted he killed a man from another Columbus suburb and said he “made a mistake” when he decided to drive that night. “My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani,” he says somberly. “This video will act as my confession.”
Cordle told Fais he’d been at a series of bars near downtown Columbus and was on his way home but remembered little else.
“I have no recollection,” he said, when asked if any of his friends had tried to stop him from driving. He also couldn’t remember how long he’d been drinking or if he’d had anything to eat. His attorneys said he may have suffered a brain injury from a cracked skull in the accident.
Watch his confession below:
Two other cars narrowly avoided involvement in the crash that night, including two women in a car who suffered minor injuries as they swerved to avoid Cordle, O’Brien said.
Cordle did not ask to be released before sentencing and the judge revoked his $255,000 bond.
Cordle received permission to give a media interview from jail Thursday with a news organization his attorneys wouldn’t identify.
O’Brien said he believed Cordle’s remorse in the video was genuine, but he said any further interviews would be self-serving. He also disputed Cordle’s assertion in the confessional video that he could have fought the case against him, which O’Brien called “a slam dunk.”
“It’s nonsense to think that you can beat that case, and any lawyer that told him that was trying to get a large fee on some kind of promise,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien is seeking the maximum sentence. Cordle’s attorneys say they will ask for a sentence that’s fair. They defended Cordle’s upcoming interview, saying he wants to get his anti-drunk driving message out.
“He’ll be the first person to tell you anytime you sit down and talk with Matt that this is not about him, it is about the Canzani family,” defense attorney George Breitmayer said. “He’s just trying to make something good come out of a terrible, terrible situation.”
Canzani’s daughter told a TV station last week that the attention the case has gotten is forcing her to relive what happened. Angela Canzani told WCMH-TV in Columbus that people seem to forget a person died.
The YouTube version of Cordle’s video has been viewed more than two million times. It begins with Cordle’s face blurred as he describes how he has struggled with depression and was simply trying to have a good time with friends going “from bar to bar” the night of the accident. He then describes how he ended up driving into oncoming traffic on Interstate 670. Cordle’s face becomes clear as he reveals his name and confesses to killing Canzani.
He ends the video by pleading with viewers not to drink and drive.
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30
Continue reading YouTube Confessor Pleads Guilty To Fatal DUI