|Days after posting his now infamous YouTube confession, an Ohio man has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and a lesser charge of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Matthew Cordle, a Powell, Ohio resident, used the social media site “Because I Said I Would” to film and post his dramatized admission of guilt. The three-and-a-half minute video uses reflective music and features Cordle describing how he attempted to drive home after a night of heavy drinking and struck a vehicle while driving the wrong way on Interstate 670. The crash killed 61-year-old Vincent Canzani. Cordle claims to “accept all responsibility” for the accident, pledges to plead guilty to the charges, and apologizes to the victim’s family. Cordle ended the video by pleading with viewers not to drink and drive. Cordle could face between two and eight years in jail.
On September 10th, Cordle appeared in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas before Judge Julie M. Lynch to plead guilty to the charges against him and be sentenced. However, Lynch postponed the hearing for one day after Cordle’s lawyers, in her words, “appeared to change their minds about having the case in front of [her]” when she refused to commit to a specific sentence. After ending the hearing, Lynch spoke to reporters in the court room about the abrupt change in schedule. “Now we’re talking a little different scenario than when people came in and said he wants to take responsibility, he wants to plead guilty, he wants to do this,” she said.
Cordle’s defense attorney, George Breitmayer, denied that they had attempted to find a different judge to sentence Cordle. “Judge shopping,” as it’s called, is not allowed by court rules. Breitmayer stated that Cordle would enter a “not guilty” plea initially, which would lead to having a judge chosen at random. Cordle planned to plead guilty once the judge was assigned though. Breitmayer claimed that this would help his client’s message “stand strong” and avoid “any appearance of favoritism.”
Cordle was sentenced by Judge David W. Fais of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in October of 2013. Cordle received six and a half years in prison.