Man who confessed in 'I killed a man' YouTube video released from jail early
An Ohio man who confessed in a YouTube video to the drunk driving-related killing of another man has been released from jail early, NBC News reports.
Matthew Cordle was sentenced to prison in 2013 following a June 22 car crash that killed 61-year-old Vincent Canzani on a highway near Columbus, Ohio.
Cordle pled guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He began his six-and-a-half-year jail sentence in October of that year.
The 28-year-old also released a YouTube video in September 2013, confessing to the crime and explaining the actions that led to Canzani's death. The three-and-a-half-minute clip, titled "I killed a man," has since been viewed nearly 4 million times.
"I made a mistake and got in my truck completely blacked out and decided to drive home," Cordle says in the video. "I ended up going the wrong way down the highway — directly into oncoming traffic — and I struck a car."
Cordle, who was 22 when he recorded the video, goes on to express his remorse for the crime and implores others not to drink and drive.
"Don't make the same excuses that I did. Don't say it's only a few miles or that you've only had a few beers... that it'll never happen to you. Because it happened to me," he says.
The video drew outrage from some members of Canzani's family, who claimed it was an attempt by Cordle to earn himself less jail time.
"There’s a way to go about it, and that wasn't it," Canzani's daughter Angela, told NBC at the time. "If he wanted to raise awareness, I mean, I would’ve commended him for that down the road, but the video is totally misleading. The motives, I believe, are so he’ll get a lighter sentence."
Cordle had faced up to eight-and-a-half years for the crime but ultimately received two years less than that. Canzani's ex-wife, Cheryl Canzani Oates, said in a letter that she believed her ex-husband would not have wanted a maximum sentence.
"Vince would not want to see two lives lost in this terrible situation due to Matthew drinking and driving," she wrote.
Now, Cordle will see his prison sentence end about five months early. The judge who ruled on his early release Wednesday said she believed Cordle was remorseful and rehabilitated.
Ron O’Brien, a prosecutor for the county, said he disagreed with the judge's assessment.
"His promise to the court, as well as his promise in the video to the community, seems to me, was reneged in open court here today by him," O’Brien told WCMH.
Canzani's daughter Angela also disagreed with the shortened sentence.
"Letting him out six months early sends him a message that he can continue to do what he wants, and it doesn't matter who it affects," she told WCMH.