October 24th, 2013
09:58 AM ET

Viral Confessor to DUI Gets 6 1/2 Years in Prison

The Ohio man who confessed in a viral video that he killed a man while driving drunk was sentenced Wednesday to six-and-a-half years in prison and a lifetime suspension of his driver's license.

Dressed in a green prison uniform, 22-year-old Matthew Cordle addressed the Columbus, Ohio, courtroom before Judge David Fais handed down his sentence.

"Whatever my sentence may be, the true punishment is living," Cordle said.

He was also ordered to pay court costs and a $1,075 fine.

Cordle pleaded guilty in September to aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle while impaired. He made headlines when he posted a YouTube video on September 3 confessing to driving while drunk and killing 61-year old Vincent Canzani on June 22. Several days after the video appeared online, Cordle surrendered to authorities and was charged for his involvement in the wrong-way crash.

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. He 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.

In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Cordle says he’s struggled with alcohol his entire life and he hopes to get more help to recover.

He says the end of the trial has brought him relief, however, because he has come to accept that this day was coming “a very long time ago.” (SEE PART ONE OF INTERVIEW)

“As I said in the courtroom, there is really no fair sentence when it comes to the loss of life. It's just time and time won't bring back the victim, unfortunately,” Cordle says.

“I'm just glad that the family can have some measure of closure and I hope that they find peace throughout this.”

Cordle says he hopes to take advantage of the educational and work programs prison may offer behind bars.

“As far as the prison time, I'm just going to take it as it comes and do everything I can to walk out of prison a better man than I walked in.” (SEE PART TWO)


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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. jjsmith

    I think he deserves it, What an Idiot ..... Plain and Simple I understand Guilt but you should know better In Criminal court ....

    October 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  2. Julie

    I applaude this young man for taking full responsiblity for his crime and for attempting to raise public awareness. There can be no "good" outcome to such a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the vicim and also for this young man. May they all find peace.

    October 24, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  3. JanM

    It's such a shame. You feel bad for the young man, because he wholly accepts his guilt, but unfortunately in this situation no one wins.

    My father has had 9 DUIs and is probably soon on his way to a 10th. The only difference is he's been lucky enough not to kill anyone, so they haven't taken anything away from him. I'm just waiting for the day he does, he will never change...

    October 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Reply

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