Ohio driver who confessed in fatality gets prison
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man who acknowledged his confessional video would give prosecutors what they needed to put him away for a long time for a fatal wrong-way car crash was proved mostly right on Wednesday when a judge sentenced him to 6 1⁄2 years in prison.
Matthew Cordle could have been given up to 8 1⁄2 years in prison for the June crash, which followed a night of heavy drinking near downtown Columbus and killed a man. A judge gave Cordle six years instead of eight on a count of aggravated vehicular homicide but ordered him to serve the full six months for driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
The drunken-driving charge “is the genesis of why we're here today,” Franklin County Judge David Fais said. “Had Mr. Cordle not been driving that vehicle on that early morning under the influence, we wouldn't be here.”
Cordle said before the judge announced his decision that there was no such thing as a fair sentence when it came to the loss of a life.
“The true punishment is simply living, living with the knowledge that I took an innocent life,” Cordle said.
The judge fined Cordle $1,075 and revoked his driving privileges for life. He gave Cordle credit for 45 days he has spent in jail.
Cordle apologized to the family of his victim, Vincent Canzani.
“It should have been me that night, the guilty party, instead of an innocent man,” he said.
Cordle's guilty plea last month occurred just a week after he was indicted in a speedy process absent the numerous court filings that usually cause such cases to drag on for weeks or months.
Canzani's daughter asked the judge for the maximum sentence.
“My father got a death sentence and did nothing wrong,” Angela Canzani said. “After 8 1⁄2 years, Matthew Cordle will still have his whole life ahead of him. My dad is never coming back.”
She said Vincent Canzani was a talented artist and photographer who enjoyed working out and spending time with people he cared about. She said her children and her sister's children will never get to see their grandfather again.
The judge read a letter from Vincent Canzani's ex-wife, who said she believed he would not have wanted a maximum sentence. She said she believes Cordle will keep his promise never to drink and drive again.
Cordle's father, Dave Cordle, told the judge he was “disappointed, disgusted and heartbroken” at the choices his son made that night. He did not ask for leniency and told Canzani's relatives his heart was filled with sorrow at their loss and he hopes they can forgive his son.
In a 3 1⁄2-minute video posted online in early September, Cordle admitted he killed Canzani and said he “made a mistake” when he decided to drive that night.
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.
- Postal Service falls short of slower mail delivery standards
- CDC lauds schools for better nutrition
- University of Texas removes statue of Confederate President Davis
- Memorial service for slain Virginia journalists brings call for action
- Motive in ambush of Houston area deputy remains unknown
- Pope Francis’ lack of familiarity with United States unusual
- Obama inches closer to veto-proof support for Iran nuclear deal
- Obama administration developing sanctions against China over cyberespionage
- Erika wanes as Tropical Storm Fred forms in Atlantic
- Supreme Court can resolve Kentucky county clerk’s refusal to issue marriage licenses to gays
- Clinton: Women ‘expect’ extremism from terrorists, not GOP candidates