Matthew Cordle's DUI Confession

Matthew Cordle's DUI Confession

Updated Feb 13, 2014 at 06:47PM EST by Brad.

Added Sep 16, 2013 at 12:47PM EDT by amanda b..

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Background

On September 3rd, 2013, the YouTube channel for social movement organization Because I Said I Would released a video[1] titled “I killed a man," which begins with a mosaic-censored white male confessing to hitting and killing a 61-year-old man named Vincent Canzani while driving drunk on the night of June 22nd, 2013. After revealing that his attorneys advised him to lie in order to get his blood test thrown out in court, the speaker reveals his face and identifies himself as a 22-year-old Matthew Cordle, stating that he intends to plead guilty once charges were filed. In less than two weeks, the video was viewed more than 2.1 million times.



Because I Said I Would

Because I Said I Would[25] is a social movement non-profit organization launched by Ohio resident Alex Sheen after losing his father to lung cancer in September 2012. Since his father was a man who always kept his promises, he launched the movement with the intent of helping others hold on to their commitments with the use of “promise cards”[26] (shown below) on which participants can write down their pledge and make their intent be publicly known through social media.



Notable Developments

News Media Coverage

On September 5th, 2013, the video was featured on a number of news media outlets including the Huffington Post[3], Yahoo! News[4], Crime Library[5], Betabeat[6] and dozens of local news stations including WCPO Cincinnati[7], Cleveland’s Sun News[8] and the Las Vegas Sun[9], among others. The following day, the video was also featured on Buzzfeed[10], Slate[11], the Wall Street Journal[12], Fox News Insider[13], the National Post[14], New York Daily News[15] and CBS News.[16]

Canzani’s Daughter Responds

On September 6th, Vincent Canazi’s daughter Angela responded to the video[24] after she had seen it on the news. She felt as if the confession should have been shown to her family and police prior to being released online and believed that he made the video with the intention of getting a lighter sentence. After the hearing on September 11th, she again told reporters[23] that the video is detracting from the gravity of the situation and despite its message, nothing will bring her father back to life.



Arrest

On September 9th, Cordle was arrested and charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle under the influence, facing a maximum sentence of eight and a half years in prison.[17] A number of viewers suggested that the video may have been an attempt to get a more lenient sentence from the judge[18], however his attorneys asserted that they did not advise the video’s production.[19]



Not Guilty Plea

On September 11th, Cordle entered a preliminary plea of not guilty despite his admission in the video. His lawyer, George Breitmayer, claimed this plea was just a formality in order to ensure the case would be assigned a random judge[20] and that it would be changed to guilty on September 18th.[21] That day, Sheen posted a video update[22] (shown below) saying that he called the Assistant County Prosecuter, Keith McGrath, who clarified that Ohio law dictates a Not Guilty plea is necessary for a random judge assignment so people cannot game the legal system.



Sentencing

On October 23rd, Cordle was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide and driving under the influence and sentenced to six and a half years[27] as well as losing his driving privileges permanently. Before he was given the sentence, Cordle told the judge that it should have been him who died that night and asserted that “there’s no fair sentence when it comes to the loss of life.”[28]



Search Interest



External References

[1]YouTube – “I killed a man.”

[2]The Columbus Dispatch – Gahanna man identified as victim in I-670 wrong-way crash

[3]The Huffington Post – Matthew Cordle Confesses To Killing Man In Crash (VIDEO)

[4]Yahoo! News – Ohio man confesses in video killing man in crash

[5]Crime Library – Man Confesses to Drunk Driving Death on Youtube to Promote Startup

[6]Betabeat – Man Confesses to Killing Someone in Promotional Video for New Startup

[7]WCPO Cincinnati – Columbus man admits in YouTube video to killing other man while drunk driving

[8]Cleveland.com – Ohio man’s video confession to deadly drunk driving accident goes viral

[9]Las Vegas Sun – Hearing for Ohio man who confessed to DUI in video

[10]Buzzfeed – Ohio Man Confesses In Video To Killing A Man In Drunk Driving Crash

[11]Slate – A Drunk Driver’s YouTube Confession: “I Killed a Man”

[12]Wall Street Journal – Man Confesses on Camera to Drunk Driving Killing

[13]Fox News Insider – VIRAL: Ohio Man Posts Video Confession to Killing Vet in DWI Crash

[14]National Post – Driver Matthew Cordle confesses to killing Navy vet in chilling YouTube video

[15]NY Daily News – Ohio man Matthew Cordle confesses in shocking video to killing Vincent Canzani while drinking and driving

[16]CBS News – Matthew Cordle, Ohio man, confesses in online video to driving drunk, causing deadly crash

[17]CNNMan indicted on homicide charge after DUI video confession

[18]CNNYouTube confession: Sincere or slick manipulation?

[19]ABC News – Ohio Man Who Confessed ‘I Killed a Man’ in YouTube Video Indicted

[20]NBC News – Despite viral video confession, Ohio man pleads not guilty to DUI charge

[21]The Huffington Post – Matthew Cordle Hearing: Ohio Man Who Confessed To DUI In Video Enters Preliminary Not Guilty Plea

[22]Because I Said I Would – “Matt has no choice on how the court process works.”

[23]New York Daily News – Drunk driving crash victim’s daughter says focus should be father, not YouTube confession

[24]NBC News – Crash victim’s daughter challenges suspect’s ‘confession’ video

[25]Because I Said I Would – About Us

[26]Because I Said I Would – What are promise cards?

[27]CNNMan who confessed to drunk driving in viral video gets 6 1/2 years

[28]NY Daily News – Drunk driver Matthew Cordle sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison for fatal crash

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Top Comments

BADGERY THING
BADGERY THING

in reply to Dinonick

C’mon, there has to be some sort of line between premeditated and unpremeditated, and between accidental and deliberate killing. Cordle didn’t go out and deliberately kill Canzani, and what’s more, if Canzani hadn’t been where he was, when he was, Cordle’s only crime would’ve been drink driving. Unfortunate circumstance shouldn’t mean the difference between a fine and life imprisonment. That’d completely undermine the ideal of Justice.

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