The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

September 19, 2013

Video confessor pleads guilty to fatal DUI — faces 2 to 8 1/2 years

COLUMBUS — Confronted at a hospital by police who said he’d just killed a man, drunk driver Matthew Cordle was angry and in denial.

“He became very irate, and began yelling, he didn’t kill anyone, he didn’t do it, and he wasn’t going to give them any blood sample,” Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Wednesday.

Sober and in recovery, Cordle had a change of heart. He decided to plead guilty as quickly as possible, and made an online video confessing to the crime. He didn’t waver from the position he took in the Sept. 3 video, and on Wednesday he made good on his pledge and pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide.

“I drank so much I was blacked out,” Cordle told Franklin County Judge David Fais near the end of a 38-minute hearing.

“So I would say this was a binge drinking situation, correct, Mr. Cordle?” Fais asked.

“Yes, your honor,” Cordle said.

His guilty plea came just over a week after he was indicted, light speed compared to most court cases which can drag on for weeks or months.

Sentencing was set for Oct. 10. Cordle, 22, faces two to 8  1/2 years in prison, a $15,000 fine and loss of driving privileges for life. He also pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. His blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

In a 3 1/2-minute video posted two weeks ago, Cordle admitted he killed a man from another 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 told Fais he’d been at a series of bars near downtown Columbus and was on his way home but remembered little else.

“I have no recollection,” he said, when asked if any of his friends had tried to stop him from driving. He also couldn’t remember how long he’d been drinking or if he’d had anything to eat. His attorneys said he may have suffered a brain injury from a cracked skull in the accident.

Two other cars narrowly avoided involvement in the crash that night, including two women in a car who suffered minor injuries as they swerved to avoid Cordle, O’Brien said.

Cordle did not ask to be released before sentencing and the judge revoked his $255,000 bond.

Cordle received permission to give a media interview from jail Thursday with a news organization his attorneys wouldn’t identify.

O’Brien said he believed Cordle’s remorse in the video was genuine, but he said any further interviews would be self-serving. He also disputed Cordle’s assertion in the confessional video that he could have fought the case against him, which O’Brien called “a slam dunk.”

“It’s nonsense to think that you can beat that case, and any lawyer that told him that was trying to get a large fee on some kind of promise,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien is seeking the maximum sentence. Cordle’s attorneys say they will ask for a sentence that’s fair. They defended Cordle’s upcoming interview, saying he wants to get his anti-drunk driving message out.

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • REPORT: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre.

    July 22, 2014

  • Veteran's Ducks Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks

    An Army veteran who hurt his back during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stacked Apartment.jpg New York building shows how mod design stacks up as cool

    In a city piled high with ambitious architecture, a seven-floor structure off the beaten path boasts a distinction of its own: It’s billed as the first multistory, modular-built apartment building to open in the nation’s apartment capital.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scores dead in first major ground battle in Gaza

    The first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting exacted a steep price Sunday: It killed 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forced thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their neighborhood, reportedly used to launch rockets at Israel and now devastated by the fighting.

    July 21, 2014

  • Traditional lottery games hold their own

    Ohio’s traditional lottery games are mostly doing well despite competition from their electronic counterparts at four racinos.

    July 20, 2014

  • HIV diagnosis rate fell by third in U.S. over decade

    The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States each year fell by one-third over the past decade, a government study finds. Experts celebrated it as hopeful news that the AIDS epidemic may be slowing in the U.S.

    July 20, 2014

  • Suddenly, the sun is eerily quiet: Where did the sunspots go?

    The sun has gone quiet. Almost too quiet.

    July 20, 2014

  • Monitors try to secure Ukraine plane crash site

    International monitors moved gingerly Saturday through fields reeking of the decomposing corpses that fell from a Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation can be conducted.

    July 19, 2014

  • Israeli bulldozers destroy Hamas tunnels in Gaza

     Israeli bulldozers on Saturday demolished more than a dozen tunnels the military said were being used by Hamas gunmen to sneak beneath the southern border of the Jewish state and carry out attacks on its soldiers and civilians.

    July 19, 2014

  • Credible probe sought in downing of Malaysian jet

    World leaders demanded Friday that pro-Russia rebels who control the eastern Ukraine crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 give immediate, unfettered access to independent investigators to determine who shot down the plane.

    July 19, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video