YouTube confession: 'I killed a man,' says driver who caused deadly crash
Published Friday, September 6, 2013 11:53AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 6, 2013 11:55AM EDT
A 22-year-old Ohio man confessed to driving drunk and killing a man in a YouTube video that will now be used as evidence against him in court.
Matthew Cordle posted the video this week, which begins with a voice saying: “I killed a man.”
At first, Cordle’s face is blurred and his voice appears to be altered as he talks about bar-hopping and “drinking heavily” on the night he made a “mistake” and decided to drive home.
“I ended up going the wrong way down the highway, directly into oncoming traffic and I struck a car,” Cordle says in the professionally produced video.
After the accident, he says he consulted with several lawyers who told him he could avoid going to jail.
“They were convinced that they could get my blood test thrown out and all I would have to do for that was lie. Well, I won’t go down that path,” Cordle says before his face is revealed.
“My name is Matthew Cordle. On June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani. This video will act as my confession,” he says.
"When I get charged I'll plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I've done to Vincent and his family," Cordle says.
The video ends with Cordle telling viewers: “I beg you…not to drink and drive.”
Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said that Cordle was a suspect in the crash that killed 61-year-old Canzani, but he hadn't been charged.
O'Brien said he has downloaded the YouTube video as evidence and will ask a grand jury to indict Cordle for aggravated vehicular homicide with an alcohol specification. If convicted, Cordle could spend up to eight years in prison.
O'Brien also said Cordle's blood sample from the night of the crash tested positive for alcohol.
Cordle’s video is helping market a non-profit start-up website called Because I Said I Would, described as “a social movement dedicated to bettering humanity through the power of a promise.”
The site’s operators send “promise cards” to people who want to perform acts of kindness, such as raising money for charities, or express their love and commitment to someone. Those who fill out promise cards are encouraged to share them on social media.
“What (Cordle) did cannot be reversed or made up for, but he wanted to do something to put good back into this world,” said Alex Sheen, founder of BecauseISaidIWould.com.
Defence attorney George Breitmayer III said the video "is a strong testament" to Cordle's character.
But Carolyn Swinson of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada says she has heard it all from accused drunk drivers after sitting in courtrooms for 15 years.
“He’s saying he’s responsible for his actions. It’s too late when you’ve gone out and killed someone to say they’re responsible,” she said.
With a report from CTV’s Daniele Hamamdjian and files from The Associated Press