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Ohio Man Indicted After YouTube Confession

11:56 AM, Sep 9, 2013   |    comments
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An Ohio man whose YouTube confession drew more than 1.2 million views was indicted Monday on a felony charge of aggravated vehicular homicide.

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Matthew Cordle's blood-alcohol was 0.19% after the crash - more than twice the level at which a driver is presumed too drunk to drive.

Cordle, 22, admitted getting drunk and driving the wrong way on I-670 near Columbus, crashing into a jeep and killing its driver.

"My name is Mathew Cordle, and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani," Cordle says in the video posted Friday. "This video will act as my confession. When i get charged, I will plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I've done to Vincent and his family. ... I won't dishonor Vincent's memory by lying about what happened."

Cordle says in the video that after the crash, he spoke with "some high-powered attorneys" who told him that it might be possible to get his blood test thrown out. He said they told him "about similar cases where the drivers got off."

"All I would have to do is lie," he said. "I won't go down that path."

The grand jury also indicted Cordle on one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The charges carry a prison sentence of up to 8½ years, O'Brien said.

Canzani's ex-wife, Cheryl Oates, told fox6now.com that Cordle's remorse appeared genuine and that she was encouraged he took responsibility for his actions. Still, the mother of two sons said she felt Cordle should spend some time in prison.

"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 told the website.

George Breitmayer III, a Columbus lawyer representing Cordle, told The Columbus Dispatch he was unaware his client was posting the confession.

"This video he released demonstrates his character, bravery and integrity, and I know he fully intends to cooperate with law enforcement and Franklin County prosecutors throughout the course of any future criminal proceedings," Breitmayer told the Dispatch.

Last week, O'Brien told the Dispatch he watched Cordle's video three times. "It's the most compelling video I think I have seen. He strikes me as remorseful and sincere," O'Brien said.

O'Brien told fox6now that the video has not influenced him to recommend a lighter sentence.

"We had a case against him based on the evidence as I know it before the video was filmed," he told the website.

Breitmayer said the video was not posted in an effort to gain a shorter prison sentence. On the recording, Cordle says he "can't bring Mr. Canzani back. I can't erase what I've done," but "I beg you, and I say the word beg specifically, I'm begging you, please don't drink and drive."

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