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Sentencing for Ohio fatal DUI crash confessor

October 23, 2013
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The daughter of a man killed by a drunken driver who later confessed his crime in an online video was expected to offer her first in-depth comments about the impact of the accident on her and her family.

Angela Canzani was scheduled to appear Wednesday in Franklin County Court at the sentencing for Matthew Cordle. In a brief TV interview last month, she said Cordle's YouTube confession, viewed more than 2.2 million times, has taken the focus off her father, 61-year-old Vincent Canzani.

Cordle, 22, faces eight years in prison, a $15,000 fine and loss of driving privileges for life. He pleaded guilty last month to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. His blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien is pushing for the maximum, saying Cordle drove that night despite knowing he had a history of blackouts after heavy drinking.

O'Brien also says the average sentence for similar crimes in the central Ohio county is about eight years.

O'Brien also cites Cordle's refusal to submit to a blood-alcohol test after the accident as justifying the maximum. Prosecutors had to obtain a court order to do the test.

Cordle's attorneys have asked Judge David Fais for a sentence well below the maximum. They say that would send a message about the importance of taking responsibility for a tragedy.

There were never any doubts that Cordle was responsible for the June crash that came after a night of bar hopping near downtown Columbus. Cordle was alone in his truck and witnesses in other cars identified him as the driver.

As prosecutors waited for lab results for alcohol and drugs, Cordle decided to forego the usual court process and plead guilty as soon as he was charged. His attorneys agreed with his plan, but against their advice, he also made an online video confessing to the accident.

"I killed a man," he says at the beginning of the 3 ½-minute clip, then goes on to explain what happened that night. He concludes by begging people not to drink and drive.

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.

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Online:

Matthew Cordle's video confession: http://bit.ly/1dWug8i

 
 

 

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