National Roundup


DUI confessor says video might have hurt him 
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The central Ohio man who confessed in an online video to killing another driver in a wrong-way crash after a night of drinking told a newspaper that he might have gotten a lighter sentence had he not made the now-famous recording.
In a jailhouse interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Matthew Cordle, 22, acknowledged that the case probably wouldn’t have become a national story if he hadn’t made the YouTube video, which has gotten more than 2 million hits. And he said he might have ended up with less time than the 6 1/2 years in prison he got from the judge on Wednesday.
“The video got a lot of attention and required appropriate reaction from the court,” Cordle told the newspaper. “If I didn’t make the video and quietly did this, I may have gotten a lighter sentence. As to what may have happened, there’s no way of knowing.”
Cordle, who lives in Powell, was sentenced after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and drunken driving. He faced from two to 8 1/2 years in prison.
In the video, Cordle confessed and announced he would plead guilty to killing Vincent Canzani, 61, in the unsolved wrong-way, drunken-driving crash on I-670 on June 22.
He said making the video was “not a courageous act.”
Instead, it was something the social-media-savvy man felt he needed to do to accept responsibility, reach out to the victim’s family and make himself a “cautionary tale” about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Cordle said that before the June crash, he frequently drove drunk. He attributed the heavy drinking partially to mental-health problems that include depression and anxiety.
“I wasn’t in a very good place,” he said. “I was out drinking a lot, out partying a lot. ... I would describe myself as a bit lost.”
He said he doesn’t recall much from the night of the crash, awakening in a hospital still drunk and not wanting to believe he had killed a man. But he eventually gained acceptance.
“As much as I feel guilty for saying something like this, it has given me a purpose now — something I can grasp on to and spend the rest of my life fighting for,” he said.
Crawling theater thief gets 16 years in prison 
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Philadelphia man who authorities say crawled along movie theater floors to steal credit cards from women’s purses has been sentenced in federal court in Connecticut to 16 years in prison.
Anthony Johnson was convicted last year of multiple counts of credit card theft and identity theft.
Prosecutors say the 50-year-old Johnson stole credit cards from moviegoers at theaters in Greenwich, Fairfield and Colchester between 2008 and 2010.
Authorities say he and female accomplices would then use sophisticated computer equipment to make fake driver’s licenses with the victim’s name and an accomplice’s photo. They then used the stolen credit cards to buy tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of clothing, jewelry and electronics, and for gambling.
Judge declines Karey bid for reduced bond 
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A judge has refused to lower the bond of a man accused of killing a Lake Charles pastor in front of his congregation.
The American Press reports Woodrow Karey, 53, remains in the Calcasieu Correctional Center on $1 million bond. He is accused of shooting Ronald C. Harris, pastor of Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center, twice with a shotgun during a revival service at the church on the night of Sept. 27. He is charged with second-degree murder.
Karey’s wife filed a rape complaint against Harris two days before the shooting.
Authorities say there was a relationship between Karey’s wife and Harris, but did not say whether it was consensual.
Karey’s wife, Janet, took the stand Thursday, testifying about the couple’s finances, whether they could meet the bond and about her husband’s character.
Judge vote draws $800,000 in activist spending 
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new report says activist organizations spent $833,000 in Iowa last year trying to influence voters deciding whether to keep an Iowa Supreme Court judge.
The Des Moines Register reports the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, the National Institute on Money in State Politics, and Justice at Stake have released research into outside influence in judicial elections.
The organizations conclude judge retention votes are now a lasting battleground between political factions.
Despite negative ads last year, voters kept Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins on the bench. He was one of the justices to rule in 2009 that the Iowa Constitution makes it unlawful to block same-sex couples from marrying.
Three other justices were voted out in 2010 when $1.4 million was spent on influencing voters that year.
10-year-old faces charges for schoolyard fight 
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A 10-year-old Lolo boy has been cited for assault with a weapon after officials at Lolo Elementary School reported the boy pushed an 8-year-old boy to the ground and held a sharp, broken ruler to his neck.
The Missoula County sheriff’s department says the incident happened shortly after school as dismissed on Tuesday. The boys didn’t know each other.
Lolo schools superintendent Mike Magone says other students witnessed the fight and a playground aide responded quickly, along with a principal and vice principal.
The school notified the parents of the students involved and contacted the sheriff’s office for assistance.
New Mexico
Jury acquits woman of murder in party stabbing 
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A jury has acquitted a Las Cruces woman who was charged with second-degree murder in a 2012 stabbing of another woman during a brawl at a birthday party.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports Thursday’s verdict frees 24-year-old Jacklyne Legaretta.
According to some witnesses, 22-year-old Delia Vasquez was trying to break up the fight during a party on Oct. 14, 2012.
Legaretta didn’t testify during her trial but she had told police previously that she didn’t intend to stab Vasquez. She said she grabbed and swung the knife only to ward off an attack.
Legaretta could have faced 15 years in prison if convicted.