Man who confessed to drunk driving in viral video gets 6 1/2 years

Photo provided by CNN/Pool
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 6:00pm

Matthew Cordle, a 22-year-old Ohio man who confessed in an online video that he killed a man in a June drunken-driving crash, was given a six-and-a-half-year sentence Wednesday.

His driving privileges also were suspended for life, and he was ordered to pay court costs and a $1,075 fine.

He pleaded guilty last month to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. The maximum prison sentence would have been eight and a half years.

Cordle told a judge at a September hearing that he did not remember the night of June 22 because he "blacked out" from drinking too much.

Cordle also told the judge that he had not had any alcohol since the night of the accident, and that he had attended a two-week alcohol rehabilitation program.

The confession

Cordle made headlines after a video was posted to YouTube on September 3 in which he confessed to driving while drunk and killing 61-year-old Vincent Canzani.

In the video, he promised he would plead guilty and "take full responsibility for everything I've done to Vincent and his family."

Several days after the video appeared, Cordle surrendered to authorities and was charged for his involvement in the wrong-way crash.

Canzani was driving a Jeep when he was struck by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 670 near Columbus, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Wife says remorse real

Canzani's ex-wife, Cheryl Oates, has said she believes Cordle's remorse is genuine.

"He said I made a huge mistake, and I'm going to take what's coming to me," Oates said. "You've got to respect him for that."

Oates said Cordle should spend time in prison. But as a mother of two sons, she also feels pain for Cordle when she watches the video.

"It's gut-wrenching coming from a mother looking at that young boy, and he just doesn't understand the damage that he did," she said.  

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