An Ohio man who allegedly struck and killed a 61-year-old veteran after a night of heavy drinking and then shot a video begging viewers to never drink and drive was officially indicted Monday — and later turned himself in to authorities.
The Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office in Ohio said a grand jury has charged Matthew Cordle, 22, with aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Cordle turned himself in at the Franklin County jail at about 1:15 p.m. Monday, his defense attorney George Breitmayer III told NBC News. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
Breitmayer said he plans to at first plead not guilty, but once a judge is assigned, they will change their plea back to guilty.
He added that the not guilty plea will be issued not because Cordle believes he is innocent, but because of a formality within the Franklin County court system.
“I just hope the judge we wind up with sees (the video) for what it was,” said Breitmayer, adding that he sees the video as “an apology to the victims” and a “public service announcement to raise awareness” about drunk driving.
Cordle’s 3 1/2 minute video confession, which went viral after it was released Sept. 3, begins with a pixelated image of his face as he states with a disguised voice, “I killed a man.”
Cordle continued by describing the events leading up to the death of Navy veteran Vincent Canzani.
"My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani. This video will act as my confession,” he says in the video.
Cordle, who says he suffers from depression, said that he blacked out while behind the wheel.
"When I get charged I'll plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I've done to Vincent and his family," Cordle says in the video.
Cordle is currently being held at the Franklin County Corrections 1 facility in Columbus, Ohio.
“If convicted on these charges, Cordle faces a maximum sentence of 8-1/2 years incarceration,” prosecutor Ron O’Brien said in a statement.
The victim's daughter, Angela Canzani, told NBC News that she believes Cordle is attempting to mitigate punishment with the video.
Breitmayer said Cordle intends to cooperate with prosecutors.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published September 9 2013, 2:21 PM