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Ohio man indicted after confessing on YouTube to drunk-driving crash

September 09, 2013|By Matt Pearce

First came the confession, now come the charges: Matthew Cordle, who confessed to a fatal drunk-driving crash in a YouTube video uploaded last week that went viral, was indicted by an Ohio jury Monday.

Cordle, 22, said he had crashed into a car driven by Vincent Canzani, 61, while driving the wrong way down a highway in Columbus on June 22.

A Franklin County jury indicted Cordle on charges of driving under the influence and aggravated vehicular homicide. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday. Cordle could face up to eight years in prison under the homicide charge.

A spokeswoman for the county prosecutor's office told the Los Angeles Times last week that officials planned to use the video as evidence against Cordle -- though that may not be necessary, as Cordle has already said he plans to plead guilty when he is charged.

"I was trying to have a good time and I lost control," Cordle said in the video, which was uploaded by an Ohio-based, motivational nonprofit group called Because I Said I Would.

Cordle's identity is initially concealed in the video as he talks about the attorneys he consulted after the crash describing how they could defend him.

"They were convinced they could get my blood test thrown out, and all I would have to do for that was lie," he said. "Well, I won't go down that path."

At that point, Cordle's identity is revealed, and he adds, "When I get charged, I will plead guilty."

Alex Sheen, the video’s maker, told The Times on Friday that Cordle messaged him in early August, out of the blue, and that the two had no prior relationship.

"He just wanted to try to convince people not to drink and drive," Sheen said.

Matt Hamilton contributed to this report.

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