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Powell man pleads guilty in fatal drunk driving crash

Powell man pleads guilty in fatal drunk driving crash

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -The man who confessed in an online video to causing a deadly wrong-way crash after a night of heavy drinking has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide.

Matthew Cordle, 22 of Powell, also pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Attorneys for Cordle said he wanted to plead guilty to make good on his pledge to accept responsibility for the June 22 crash on I-670.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien told reporters that he plans to seek the maximum 8 1/2 years when Cordle is sentenced on October 10th. Cordle's attorneys say he only wants a "fair sentence." They didn't indicate if they planned to ask the judge for a set term.

In a video posted two weeks ago and viewed more than two million times, Cordle admits he killed a man and says he ``made a mistake'' when he decided to drive.

O'Brien believes the video is sincere, but a request in court for Cordle to be allowed to do a jailhouse interview doesn't sit well with O'Brien.

"I think anything he says from now on about why he did that then is self-serving," O'Brien said.

Cordle's attorney, Martin Midian, says the interview is a way to get his client's message out.

"I think a lot of people want to hear what Matt has to say and hopefully that opportunity is coming," he said.

O'Brien also laughed off the claim in the video by Cordle that his attorneys could probably have gotten him off without the video confession.

"We had a slam dunk case," said O'Brien. "The suggestion by him in the video that he had talked with lawyers who said he could beat the case is nonsense."

Cordle was described as combative and uncooperative in the hospital after the crash.

Franklin County Common Please Judge David Fais questioned Cordle extensively on his motives for changing the plea to guilty. Cordle answered that he understood what he was doing and the penalty he might face.

Fais then asked Cordle about the hours leading up to the crash that killed Vincent Canzani. Cordle told the judge that he had been at "bars on Park Street" that night, but didn't remember much about what happened.

"I drank so much I was blacked out, your honor," Cordle said.

He agreed with Fais' description as a night of binge drinking.

Cordle's blood alcohol level was .191 when his blood was drawn in the emergency room. He doesn't have any prior felony convictions.

Canzani's daughter was in the courtroom and ready to deliver a statement to the judge, but he asked her to wait until sentencing on October 10th.



 

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