Earlier this year, Matthew Cordle went "viral" on YouTube when he admitted to being drunk in a fatal wrong-way crash in Ohio. This week, a judge sentenced Cordle to six and a half years in prison. Cordle had faced up to eight and a half years, reports CNN.
The 22-year-old Ohio man had pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular manslaughter homicide and driving drunk in September. He had earlier confessed on YouTube to driving under the influence when he struck a vehicle driven by Vincent Canzani, killing the man. In his video, Cordle admitted to his actions, expressed sorrow, and offered his apologies. It did not seem to sway the court.
During the sentencing hearing, several unexpected parties spoke on behalf of Cordle. The ex-wife of the victim stated in a letter that she believed Cordle was sincere in his video and asked the judge to spare Cordle the most severe penalties. A drunk driving crash survivor from Kentucky read another letter stating that Cordle showed courage by confessing to his crimes and by taking responsibility for his actions.
However, not all of the letters and testimony were sympathetic to Cordle. The daughter of Canzani also spoke. She said that she hoped Cordle's video would not give the impression that drunk driving leading to fatalities was somehow acceptable so long as the individual later showed remorse. She then stated that her father paid the ultimate penalty by losing his life. By giving Cordle close to the maximum penalty, the sentencing judge appeared to side with the victim's daughter.
The Ohio DUI case is a good example of how a judge may consider many different factors at a sentencing hearing. So even if you are convicted of drunk driving, the penalties that you receive can vary a great deal. For a question about a DUI case in the Seattle or King County areas, contact an experienced Seattle DUI attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense. You can schedule a consultation by calling 425-284-2000.