Drunk Driver Who Confessed to Killing Man on YouTube Gets 6.5 Years

    October 23, 2013
    Josh Wolford
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A 22-year-old man who famously confessed, via YouTube video, to killing a 61-year-old man while drunk driving has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

“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,” said Matthew Cordle at his sentencing hearing.

On August 9th, Cordle contacted the Facebook page for Because I Said I Would, a non-profit organization that sends promise cards across the world for free in order to “better humanity through the power of a promise.” He asked them to help him film a video where he would confess to killing someone while driving under the influence. A little under a month later, that video was released and went viral.

“On that night I made a mistake – I got into my truck, completely blacked out, and tried to drive home,” said Cordle in the video. “I ended up going the wrong way on the highway, directly into oncoming traffic – and I struck a car. I killed a man.

Immediately following that, I consulted some high-powered attorneys who told me stories about similar cases where the drivers got off. They were convinced that they could get my blood tests thrown out, and all I would have to do for that was lie. But I won’t go down that path. My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani. This video will act as my confession.”

Last month, Cordle pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He said he didn’t want a trial and waived his right to appeal. He and his lawyer also offered no recommendation for sentencing.

“After getting to know Matt, I can say with confidence that he truly regrets his decision that night. He describes the guilt he has as “insurmountable.” Knowing that Matthew has a tremendous amount of remorse for his actions, does that still mean he deserves years of incarceration? Absolutely. Drinking and driving is a serious crime; we must treat it as such. I know that it is harsh to say, but Matt’s regret will not bring back Vincent Canzani. We must enforce the law to discourage others from making this tragic mistake. I assure you that Matt agrees with me,” said a post on BISIW’s site.

When Cordle finally does get out of prison, he will have his driving privileges revoked for the rest of his life.

At the sentencing hearing, Canzani’s ex-wife said she didn’t think her ex-husband would have wanted Cordle to receive a maximum sentence.

“Nothing will bring Vincent back,” Oates said. “I know what pain Matthew feels. The pain will stay with him until his death.”

Images via Because I Said I Would, YouTube & Facebook

  • Alex Williams


    • Jamie

      I think the guy should be hit by a car and killed too. I agree our system is broken. Not for the fact that people are getting sentenced to jail to much but that violent crimes like this one isn’t being dealt with properly. I say this man should have to pay for his crime of killing an innocent man with the same way he took that man’s life. Because of people feeling sorry for criminals and degenerate people like this fool our society suffers from constant barrage of criminals getting the soft hand of justice for crimes that should be punishable by death. There is nothing wrong with killing a killer. They took a life now they must loose their life. Please stop using our resources to feed and care for these stains on the human race.

      • Trevor S

        You’ve never made a mistake in your life?

  • Jason

    the only thing about this story that is messed up is that if he had lied he would have gotten off much lighter. Just saying I think the system is messed up, not that his sentence was.

  • This is Telling

    I know a guy who went to visit someone from the internet. He was pursued for a year and invited 5 times. He didn’t even see a person and received many more years than this man did. The man literally did nothing but step out of his car. Our system is screwed up. I will say this though. Destroying another person’s life is not going to bring the dead person back. I am actually the victim of a violent attack and I can honestly say that destroying the lives of the people who attacked me did not bring me closure.

    Prison is the most horrible place on the planet and should only be used as a last resort. I believe there needs to be punishment for crimes, but not to the extent we do it in this nation. Nothing in this nation ever gets any better because our system doesn’t work. Right now, we incarcerate more people than any other country in the history of mankind. We just seek vengeance and our country is suffering because of it. You know what actually brings people comfort — forgiveness and stopping the cycle of violence and suffering. This man above appears to have a conscious and is genuinely remorseful. We shouldn’t destroy his life too.

    An eye for an eye never works. All that does is insure that both people are blind.