Matthew Cordle, the Ohio man who videotaped himself confessing to killing a man while he was driving drunk has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison and a lifetime loss of driving privileges.
Cordle, 22, had pleaded guilty to killing Vincent Canzani of suburban Columbus in a wrong-way crash on June 22.
In his video, which has drawn more than 2 million hits on YouTube, Cordle says that although he may have been able to "get off" or "get a reduced sentence," he didn't want to "dishonor Vincent's memory by lying about what happened."
However, last week Cordle's attorneys asked Judge Davie Fais to sentence Cordle to less than the eight-and-a-half year maximum allowable for the crime. Fais sentenced Cordle to six months for driving under the influence of alcohol and six years for aggravated vehicular homicide. The judge revoked his driving privileges for life, which the Associates Press reports is required by state law.
At the sentencing, the judge read from letters he received from people whose lives were affected by drunk driving and at one point said he would like to see Matthew's face on a billboard about the dangers of drunk driving.
One of Cordle's attorneys asked the judge to consider that "a lot of people could learn a lesson from the message Matthew has sent," and that his video's message of responsibility would have wide-ranging positive effect on others.
Angela Canzani, the victim's daughter, spoke at the sentencing, saying she hoped Cordle got the maximum amount of time in prison for killing her father.
"My father got a death sentence and did nothing wrong," said Canzani. "After eight and half years, Matthew Cordle will still have his whole life ahead of him; my father is never coming back." She also said that she did not want the court to send the message that you can "hit and kill someone," then apologize and "get leniency."
Cordle's father Dave Cordle told the judge he was "disappointed, disgusted and heartbroken" over his son's choices that resulted in Canzani's death.
Matthew Cordle was the last person to speak before the judge pronounced his sentence. He read his statement from a yellow piece of paper that had been folded into a pocket on his khaki prison uniform shirt.
"The true punishment is simply living, living with the knowledge that I took an innocent life," said Cordle. "That pain and weight will never go away."