Matthew Cordle Sentenced To Six And A Half Years After Confessing To Killing A Man On YouTube
Matthew Cordle, the young man who confessed to killing Vincent Canzani when he was driving under the influence in a video posted on YouTube, has been sentenced to six and a half years in jail.
The video, made with the help of the non-profit Because I Said I Would, proceeded Cordle’s arrest and trial – before the he was charged with a crime. In the video, Cordle confesses to drunk driving in June and causing an accident that resulted in Canzani’s death. On Aug. 9, Cordle reached out to Alex Sheen, founder of Because I Said I Would, and the two of them worked to create this video in the hopes that it would inspire people to pledge never to drink and drive.
“Against all legal advice, Matthew decided to make this video and release it prior to any charges being filled against him. His goal is to raise awareness about the terrible consequence that drunk driving can have on innocent people,” Sheen wrote regarding the video.
In the video, released in early September, Cordle pledges to turn himself into the police and take responsibility for his actions.
“This video will act as my confession. When charged, I’ll plead guilty… I won’t dishonor Vincent’s memory by lying about what happened,” Cordle says.
Shortly after the video went viral, charges were filled against Cordle and he pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving while under the influence. On Wednesday, Oct. 23, Cordle, 22, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison and a lifetime suspension of his driver’s license. He also must submit to a fine of $1,075 and pay court costs, according to CNN.
“Matt plead guilty as indicted. He filed no motions to suppress any evidence against him. Matt waived his rights to a trial and appeal. He will be making no joint recommendation for sentencing,” Because I Said I Would wrote on their Facebook page prior to sentencing.
In court on Wednesday, Judge David Fais played the video and read aloud a letter from Canzani’s ex-wife, Cheryl Canzani Oates, in which she writes that her ex would not have wanted Cordle to receive a maximum sentence and that she believes his apologies have been sincere.
Canzani’s daughter, Angela Canzani, also spoke at the sentencing and expressed strong concern that Cordle would “get away with it” because of his public apology.
“My father got a death sentence. Eight-and-a-half years [the maximum sentence] is nothing. After eight-and-a-half years, Matthew Cordle will have his life back – my father is never coming back,” she said.
Finally, Cordle addressed the court, saying, “It should have been me instead of an innocent man. I vow that I’ll do everything I can to prevent it from happening again and his memory from fading.
In an interview on Thursday, Cordle said that he understood Angela Canzani’s sentiments.
“It’s just time, and time won’t bring back the victim, unfortunately. I’m just glad that the family can have some measure of closure, and I hope that they find peace throughout this,” Corlde told CNN from jail.
Cordle will serve the full six and a half year sentence.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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