The Ohio man who confessed in a notorious online video to causing a deadly wrong-way crash after a night of binge drinking has formally pleaded guilty.
Wearing handcuffs and a somber expression, Matthew Cordle, 22, pleaded guilty in a Columbus courtroom Wednesday to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The plea fulfills his vow to take responsibility for the fatal crash, which killed a 61-year-old man who lived in a Columbus suburb.
And it follows his surprise preliminary plea of not guilty last Wednesday — a move his legal team said was a formality to sidestep standard procedure and allow a new, random judge to take over the case.
Cordle faces a maximum sentence of 8 1/2 years in prison, as well as the permanent suspension of his drivers license.
Sentencing is set to take place Oct. 11.
In a much-watched video uploaded to YouTube in early September, Cordle admitted he killed man and said he "made a mistake" when he got behind the wheel of a car that night.
"My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani," he says gravely. "This video will act as my confession."
The video has been viewed more than 1.9 million times, and has received immense attention on social media networks.
In the stylized viral video, Cordle's face is blurred and his voice is muffled. He somberly says he was bar-hopping with some friends that night, blacked out and decided to drive home.
"I was trying to have a good time and I ended up losing control," he said.
The judge presiding over the case said Wednesday he plans to watch the video before sentencing next month.
Cordle’s blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was 0.191 — more than double the state’s legal limit, according to the indictment.
When asked by the judge Wednesday if the friends he was with before the car crash told him not to drive home drunk, Cordle replied: "I have no recollection, your honor."
The judge later said: "I would say this was a binge-drinking situation."
Agravated vehicular homicide carries a penalty of $5,000 to $15,000 and a prison stay of as much as eight years.
Operating a vehicular under the influence of alcohol or drugs carries a penalty of six months in he country correctional center and a mandatory three to six days in prison.
Cordle is currently being held at the Franklin County Corrections 1 facility in Columbus, Ohio.
NBC News' Sophia Rosenbaum and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published September 18 2013, 8:04 AM