Matthew Cordle, the Ohio man who confessed to killing another driver while he was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison. The decision was made on Wednesday in an Ohio court. Cordle could have received up to 8 1/2 years in prison for the June crash.
By Cordle’s own admission he drank heavily that fateful night in June in a downtown Columbus bar and killed a man. He was given two years less sentence than the maximum for the charge of one count of vehicular homicide, but the judge has ordered that he serve the full six months for driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
The drunken-driving charge “is the genesis of why we’re here today,” Franklin County Judge David Fais said. “Had Mr. Cordle not been driving that vehicle on that early morning under the influence, we wouldn’t be here.”
What does Cordle say about the DUI penalties?
Cordle remains remorseful, accepting the fate the court imposed for this crime. According to Cordle, there was “no such thing as a fair sentence when it came to the loss of a life.” He understands that no matter how long he spends in jail he will have to live with the guilt of what he did for the rest of his life. And it sounds like Cordle realizes that taking an innocent life will always leave him with ‘blood on his hands.’
Cordle will also be required to pay $1,075 in fines and penalties, and he has lost his driving privileges for life. He will, however, receive credit for 45 days he’s already spent in jail.
Benefits for the Court and the citizens of Ohio
Although some criticized Cordle’s decision to make his confession video, stating that it seemed like nothing more than a publicity stunt and a way to gain sympathy with the public, no one can argue that the move saved the state of Ohio money. Because Cordle agreed to make his guilty plea public, the state was able to quickly indict him and move through the DUI court process without all the usual court filings that usually cause DUI cases to extend for weeks or months.
The public apology, however, had little effect on the Cordle family. Canzani’s daughter asked the judge for the maximum sentence. “My father got a death sentence and did nothing wrong,” Angela Canzani said. “After 8 1/2 years Matthew Cordle will still have his whole life ahead of him. My dad is never coming back.”
Although Vincent Canzani’s daughter is still upset, she did say she believes Cordle has learned his lesson and she doesn’t expect him to drink and drive again. Cordle’s father also did not mince words, telling the court he was heartbroken at the choices his son made. He also did not ask the court for leniency and told the Canzani family that “his heart was filled with sorrow at their loss and he hopes they can forgive his son.”
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