Ohio – A 22-year-old man who allegedly struck and killed a 61-year-old veteran after a binge of heavy drinking shot a video pleading with viewers to never drink and drive. Matthew Cordle, 22, was indicted and turned himself in to face his charges.
According to the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office, a grand jury charged Cordle with aggravated vehicular homicide and with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Cordle turned himself in at the Franklin County jail on Monday afternoon, and his arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday, September 9, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.
Cordle's defense attorney, George Breitmayer III said that he planned to plead not guilty, but once a judge was assigned to the case, they were going to change their plea back to guilty. Breitmeyer pointed out that the not guilty plea was not being issued because his client was innocent, but because it was a formality with the Franklin County court system.
Breitmayer said that he hoped that the judge they wind up with would see the video for what it was, "an apology to the victims" and a "public service announcement to raise awareness" about drunk driving.
Cordle's video confession went viral after being released on September 3. In the video Cordle said, "My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani. This video will act as my confession."
Cordle, who says he suffers from depression, claimed to have blacked out when he was behind the wheel. In the video Cordle said, "When I get charged I'll plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I've done to Vincent and his family."
If Cordle is convicted of his charges, he faces up to 8 1/2 years in prison, said prosecutor Ron O'Brien in a statement. Breitmayer, Cordle's defense attorney, said that Cordle intended to cooperate with prosecutors.
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