COLUMBUS, Ohio —
Confronted at a hospital by police who said he’d just killed a man, drunk driver Matthew Cordle was angry and in denial.
“He became very irate, and began yelling, he didn’t kill anyone, he didn’t do it, and he wasn’t going to give them any blood sample,” Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Wednesday.
Sober and in recovery, Cordle had a change of heart. He decided to plead guilty as quickly as possible, and made an online video confessing to the crime.
Defendant Matthew Cordle entered a preliminary plea of not guilty last week in a procedural move allowing a judge to be appointed to accept a guilty plea.
A judge didn't allow Cordle to go ahead with a plea Sept. 10, saying his lawyers didn't follow court procedures for first appearances. Franklin County Judge Julie Lynch also alleged the attorneys balked at coming before her because she wouldn't promise a specific sentence, something they deny.
Lynch took Cordle's not guilty plea in a brief hearing the next day and set a combined $255,000 bond. Cordle appeared Wednesday before veteran Franklin County Judge David Fais. He didn’t waver from the position he took in the Sept. 3 video, and on Wednesday he made good on his pledge and pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide.
In a 3½-minute video posted two weeks ago, Cordle admitted he killed a man from a Columbus suburb and said he "made a mistake" when he decided to drive that night.
"My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani," he says somberly. "This video will act as my confession."
After last week's hearing, Canzani's daughter told a TV station the attention the case has gotten is forcing her to relive what happened. Angela Canzani told WCMH-TV in Columbus that people seem to forget a person died.