An Ohio man whose YouTube confession drew more than 1.2 million views was indicted Monday on a felony charge of aggravated vehicular homicide and plans to plead guilty Tuesday, his lawyer said
Matthew Cordle, 22, admitted in the video posted Friday that he was drunk and driving the wrong way on I-670 near Columbus when he crashed into a jeep, killing its driver.
Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Matthew Cordle's blood-alcohol level was 0.19% after the crash in June - more than twice the level at which a driver is presumed too drunk to drive.
Cordle's lawyer, George Breitmayer, said his client is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. For technical reasons, Cordle must plead not guilty. Shortly thereafter, Breitmayer said, Cordle will change his plea to guilty.
Cordle's confession video went viral shortly after it was posted.
"My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani," Cordle says. "This video will act as my confession. When I get charged, I will plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I've done to Vincent and his family. ... I won't dishonor Vincent's memory by lying about what happened."
Cordle says in the video that after the crash, he spoke with "some high-powered attorneys" who told him that it might be possible to get his blood test thrown out. He said they told him "about similar cases where the drivers got off."
"All I would have to do is lie," he said. "I won't go down that path."
The grand jury also indicted Cordle on one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The charges could carry a prison sentence of up to 8½ years, O'Brien said.
O'Brien, in an email to USA TODAY, said his office will be seeking the maximum sentence due to the seriousness of the crime. Still, he said he was impressed by the video.
"When I viewed the video the first time -- and I would say every time since -- I found it to be a very compelling video that seemed to sincerely express genuine remorse," O'Brien said.
On the recording, Cordle says he "can't bring Mr. Canzani back. I can't erase what I've done," but "I beg you, and I say the word beg specifically, I'm begging you, please don't drink and drive."
Breitmayer said Cordle made the video against legal advice - proof that he did not post it to get a lighter sentence.
"He's the most remorseful client I've ever seen," Breitmayer said. He declined to suggest what sentence Cordle deserves.
"I think he should get strong consideration for his acceptance of responsibility," the lawyer said. "I won't say he doesn't deserve to do some time (in jail) because he does."
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