An Ohio man who confessed on YouTube to killing another man while driving drunk has stunned a judge by pleading not guilty to the crime, ABC News reported.
In a video titled “I Killed a Man,” Matthew Cordle admitted to killing Vincent Canzani and has since been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide.
The confession went viral — it has been viewed by over 2 million people since being released earlier this month — prompting some to praise Cordle for taking responsibility for his actions, while others condemned him for making the video to draw sympathy for himself and manipulate the legal outcome in his favor.
In the video, Cordle said: “When I get charged I’ll plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I’ve done to Vincent and his family.”
Cordle said he consulted with “high-powered attorneys” immediately after the accident: “They were convinced that they could get my blood tests thrown out, and all I would have to do for that is lie. Well I won’t go down that path.”
“I will not dishonor Vincent’s memory by lying about what happened,” he would add.
Judge Julie Lynch told ABC News that Cordle’s lawyers decided to change his plea at the 11th hour.
“Everything was going to be guilty,” Lynch said. “I’m somewhat incensed by somebody who isn’t forthright with the court.”
Cordle’s lawyers told ABC that they were just entering not guilty as an initial plea and that they’d eventually change it to guilty — possibly as part of a deal with prosecutors for a more lenient sentence, according to Business Insider.