Matthe Cordle, an Ohio man who posted an online video confession to being the cause of a wrong-way drunk driving accident, appeared in court on Wednesday, September 11th. Although his video indicated that he would plead guilty to his involvement in the fatal crash following an evening of heavy drinking, he pleaded not guilty in order to have a judge chosen at random. He is expected to enter a guilty plea before a new judge on September 18th.
An organization named “Because I said I would” posted a 3.5 minute video online last week in which Cordle admits to killing a Columbus man and also admits that he “made a mistake” when he decided to get behind the wheel of a car that night.
Cordle’s video confession was posted on YouTube and was filmed on September 3rd. The current version has more than 1.7 million views by users. It starts out with a blurred image of Cordle’s face. He then begins to describe how he has struggled to overcome depression and was simply hoping to have a good time with friends going “from bar to bar” on the night of the tragic accident. Cordle then goes into an account of apparently driving his car into oncoming traffic on Interstate 670. His face becomes visible as he confesses to accidentally killing Canzani. He ends the video by pleading with viewers not to drink and drive.
Cordle, was first denied a plea on Tuesday, September 10th, after a local judge indicated that his lawyers did not follow proper court procedures for first appearances. County Court Judge Julie Lynch also alleged Cordle’s attorneys intentionally delayed coming before her because she wouldn’t promise a specific sentence. Cordle’s attorneys denied the claim.
Cordle is from Powell, a nearby suburb of Columbus. He voluntary turned himself in to local police and also faces a charge of a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. In total, the charges carry a possible jail sentence of 2 to 8½ years in prison.
On Wednesday, Cordle was seen wearing standard issued jail attire and slippers as he sat between his lawyers and did not speak during the hearing. Both his family and the family members of Canzani all declined to comment.
There is no word yet on what sentence Cordle’s criminal charges will bring. Following the criminal case, it is likely that Canzani’s family may pursue a wrongful death suit against Cordle in civil court.