YouTube confessor must wait to plead
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio driver who made an online video confessing to causing a fatal wrong-way crash while drunk must wait at least a day to enter his promised guilty plea.
In a 3½-minute video posted last week, Matthew Cordle admitted he killed a man from a 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, of Powell, another Columbus suburb, appeared briefly in Franklin County court on Tuesday while being charged with aggravated vehicular homicide a day earlier and turning himself in. Cordle is charged with a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Judge Julie Lynch ended the hearing shortly after it began. She said an expected arrangement whereby Cordle would plead guilty and be sentenced had changed. Lynch said Cordle should appear before her again on Wednesday.
After the hearing, Lynch said Cordle's lawyers appeared to change their minds about having the case in front of her when she refused to commit to a specific sentence.
Cordle could be given two to 8½ years in prison.
His lawyers denied they had decided to look for a different judge, a process known as judge shopping, which is banned by court rules. They wouldn't comment on any discussions of a sentence with the judge.
Wearing a beige jail shirt and blue pants and slippers, Cordle sat between his lawyers and didn't speak during the hearing. His family and relatives of Canzani all declined to comment.
The video was filmed on Sept. 3, and the version posted on YouTube has been viewed more than 1.7 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 collision. 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.
“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,” Cordle says. Then a message appears on the darkened screen: “Make the promise to never drink and drive.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- White House breach ‘a cry out for help,’ alleged intruder’s ex-wife says
- Officials say too many in the 18-64 age range skip flu vaccination
- Legislators urge Secret Service to reassess White House security
- U.S. confident it’ll have allies for airstrikes against ISIS
- March around the world seek to put focus on climate change
- NYC’s High Line completed, culminating 15-year effort
- Beads in beauty products called toxin
- Ticks reduce moose population in northern states
- 121 tourists stranded on schooner near Statue of Liberty
- Woman gives birth on California freeway shoulder
- Hurricane shattered Charleston, S.C., tested mayor 25 years ago