Grand jury indicts man who confessed to killing on YouTube

Man's blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit in fatal crash.
MCT Regional News
Sep 9, 2013

Matthew Cordle, the Powell man whose dramatic online video confession to killing a man in a drunken-driving crash went viral, is expected to plead guilty on Tuesday to a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide.

Cordle, 22, was indicted this morning by a Franklin County grand jury for causing the death of Vincent Canzani, 61, of Gahanna, in the wrong-way crash on I-670 near 3rd Street on June 22.

In the video, Cordle said he would plead guilty “when I get charged ... and take full responsibility for everything I’ve done to Vincent and his family.”

George Breitmayer III, Cordle’s Columbus lawyer, said his client will plead guilty to the charge, potentially accepting an eight and one-half year prison sentence, in fulfilling the “ sincere” promise made in his video.

“Any of the naysayers out there, they are going to find out ... he didn’t do this (video) for any other purpose but to raise awareness about drunken driving and get some closure for the victim’s family,” Breitmayer said this morning.

Aggravated vehicular homicide is a second-degree felony carrying two to eight and one-half years in prison. Cordle is expected to surrender and be booked at the Franklin County Jail this afternoon, authorities said.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday before Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Julie Lynch.

Breitmayer said Cordle will enter not-guilty plea as a “technicality” in order to get the case assigned to a judge and then will immediately “turn around and plead guilty” to the charge.

Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said today that Cordle’s blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.19 percent following the crash, more than twice the 0.08 level at which a motorist is presumed drunk in Ohio.

Cordle also was indicted on a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

In his online confession, Cordle admitted to “blackout” drinking and then driving the wrong way on I-670, striking Canzani’s vehicle, in an attempt to drive home.

He pleaded with viewers of the video to learn from his mistake and not drink and drive. The video confession, posted online on Tuesday, made international headlines and was featured on major websites and national TV news broadcasts.

Alex Sheen, a Cleveland-area man and founder of becauseisaidiwould.com, shot and produced the video after Cordle reached out to him in a bid to warn others of the dangers of drinking and driving. Sheen posted the video both to his website and YouTube.

The YouTube video of Cordle’s confession had recorded 1.2 million views as of this morning. To watch it, click HERE.

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By Randy Ludlow - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio - (MCT)

©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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