Matthew Cordle, 22, admits in a video now viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube that early on June 22 he got into his truck while blackout drunk, got onto a Columbus-area highway going the wrong direction and struck a car driven by Navy veteran Vincent Canzani. Canzani was killed and Cordle injured.
The video, posted last week, shows Cordle at first describing the accident with his face blurred or shot from angles with his face obscured. After a minute or so talking anonymously about the evening drinking with friends and admitting "lost control" and drove drunk, the video cuts to black momentarily, then Cordle's face appears unalloyed.
Looking directly into the camera, he says: "My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani."
On Monday a Franklin County grand jury agreed, indicting Cordle on a single count of aggravated vehicular homicide. Cordle, who has pledged to plead guilty at his arraignment and avert further court proceedings, faces 2 to 8 years in prison if convicted.
Though some in comments about the video on the website have suggested the clip is a ploy by Cordle to get a lighter sentence, his lawyer told CNN the gesture was genuine and his client hopes it prevents future drunk driving accidents.
"Despite any speculation of his intentions, the video was meant to raise awareness related to the serious issues surrounding drinking and driving," the defense lawyer said in a statement sent to CNN. "In addition, [Cordle] hopes his confession will offer the Canzanis some level of closure by avoiding any lengthy, drawn out legal proceedings."