Man who confessed to DUI killing makes court appearance

Matt Cordle's drunk driving confession has been viewed over a million times.
CBS News

(CBS News) COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio man who made an unusual online confession appeared in court Tuesday for the first time. In that video, 22-year-old Matthew Cordle admitted he drove drunk and caused a deadly crash. So was it a genuine act of contrition? Or did he have something else in mind?

"I'm begging you -- please do not drink and drive," said Matthew Cordle in an internet video he posted three months after he slammed head-on into Vincent Canzani. He was never arrested.

"My name is Matthew Cordle. On June 22, 2013, I had killed Vincent Canzani," he said in the video.

The online confession has been viewed over a million times since it was posted last week. Cordle planned to plead guilty Tuesday in court.

When asked about those who say the tape is being used to influence the case, Cordle's attorney, Martin Midian, said: "My client's intention when he put out this video was to raise awareness about drunk driving."

Ohio man Matt Cordle, whose online confession of killing Vincent Canzani three months ago in a drunk driving crash, made his first court appearance on Sept. 10, 2013.
CBS News

As for those who feel Cordle made the video to influence his sentence, Midian responded: "That's not the case at all. What we hope, and what Matt hopes, is that the sentence he is given is fair and it's appropriate. The most important thing is the message -- the sentiment behind the video."

A daughter of the man Cordle killed declined to speak with CBS News on camera but said "nothing has changed for the better" because of the video.

The county prosecutor said he will move forward on this case as he would with any DUI case, regardless of the videotape. Meanwhile, Cordle will be back in court Wednesday, and he could face eight-and-a-half years in prison.

  • Michelle Miller

    Michelle Miller is an award-winning CBS News correspondent based in New York, reporting for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Her work regularly appears on the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley", "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood". She joined CBS News in 2004.