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Ohio man who posted video on drunk driving death pleads guilty

By Kim Palmer

AKRON, Ohio (Reuters) - An Ohio man who posted an online video confession to driving drunk and killing a 61-year-old father of two pleaded guilty at a court hearing on Wednesday, his attorney said.

Matthew Cordle, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He has been in custody since turning himself in last week and faces a possible prison term of 8 1/2 years for the crime.

Defense attorney, Martin Midian said Cordle is "at peace" with his decision.

"He hopes it provides some sort of closure for the family of his victim," Midian said.

According to the indictment, Cordle had a blood alcohol level of 0.191, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 in Ohio, when he crashed into and killed Vincent Canzani on June 22.

In his 3-1/2-minute video confession, titled "I killed a man," Cordle admitted to drinking until he blacked out and driving the wrong way down a Columbus, Ohio, highway.

Midian said he asked Cordle not to release the video until after prosecutors brought charges against him but that Cordle wanted to "cleanse his soul" and to say he was sorry.

"He meant this. There is no self-serving element. He is concerned about raising awareness about drunk driving," Midian added. "He pleaded guilty to fulfill the promise he had made," Midian said.

The video first appeared on a website hosted by "because I said I would," described as "a social movement dedicated to the importance of a promise." Its founder, Alex Sheen, walked across Ohio in June to raise awareness of sexual violence after three women were rescued from a decade of confinement and abuse at the home of a Cleveland man, Ariel Castro.

Cordle's video is the latest in a series of recent crimes that involved online posts, in the United States and abroad.

In August, Florida resident Derek Medina posted a Facebook message to "friends" that he had killed his wife after she started punching him, and posted a picture of her body on the floor. He has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder.

In April, a man in Vietnam surrendered to authorities there after confessing on Facebook to killing his wife.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Greg McCune and Andrew Hay)

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