Matthew Cordle (22), the Ohio man who admitted to the June 22 death of Vincent Canzani (61) in a drunken driving accident, pled not guilty and was assigned a new judge on Wednesday.
Related Law & Crime Stories
Shellie Zimmerman Calls Police, Claims George Zimmerman Threatened To Shoot Her and Father-in-Law
Missouri Man Charged With Infecting Over 300 People With HIV
Brothers Charged With Smuggling Military-Grade Weapons To The Philippines
While these kinds of turns happen all the time in cases and courtrooms across the country, this one is unique in that Cordle not only admitted to killing Canzani, but he did so via a recorded confession that was posted on YouTube and another video sharing site.
Following the video, Matthew Cordle turned himself in to Columbus, Ohio authorities and was brought up aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated charges.
Cordle’s first judge, Judge Julie Lynch, set his bond at $250,000.
Matthew Cordle came to national attention last week via a 3-minute and 38-second confessional posted to YouTube and elsewhere.
The video made its way around the internet before he turned himself in. The YouTube posting of the video is nearing 2 million views. It ends with warning others not to drink and drive.
The 22-year old’s lawyers stated that their client would remain in jail and not accept bail until until he was able to change the plea back to guilty before his new sentencing judge, Judge David Fais.
It’s believed that the tactic was meant to get a more lenient judge or one who knows how they would sentence Cordle.
Judge Lynch said she felt that the lawyers were trying to work the system as a guilty plea would seal the judge for that case under Ohio law. She believes that Cordle’s team told their client to plea “not guilty” since she wasn’t sure how she would sentence Cordle.
“Everything was going to be guilty. I’m somewhat incensed by somebody who doesn’t, isn’t forthright with the court.” Lynch said told ABC News.
During arraignment Tuesday, Judge Lynch voiced her frustration in the situation. “I’m sorry you all came. I’m sorry you all came for this whole big thing. There’s no reason to be arraigned here.”
Cordle’s lawyer George Breitmayer III told ABC News that he was “blindsided by the fact that we didn’t go through with an arraignment,” He stated that the prosecutors knew that the defense’s plan was to run with a “not guilty” plea.
Since Judge Lynch wasn’t decided on what Cordle would get, he could’ve been sentenced to anywhere between two to eight and a half years in prison. With such a pool of eight years to pick a sentence from and the uncertainty of what the judge would go with, this strategy looks to be the best one for Cordle.
The fact is Matthew Cordle did confess, he did say he would plead guilty, and he did say he would accept what was coming to him. More than two million have seen and heard his confession. To go back on a publicized promise because your lawyers (and yourself) aren’t feeling the fact that you could get the full brunt for your actions in a bid to get a more favorable result is a bit rotten for lack of a better word.
On the other hand, this is simple legal strategy. So what if his words mean little now, he’s not obligated to keep his promise to millions people. When going through a case or hearing, it’s expected that you would try to do what’s best for you and get as light and manageable a sentence as possible.
Judge David Fais is expected to sentence the Matthew Cordle around October 17 after he receives Cordle’s guilty plea at the bond hearing.