COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A man who confessed in an online video to killing a man in a drunken driving crash has been sentenced to six and a-half years in prison.
The sentence came at a hearing today in Columbus, Ohio, where Matthew Cordle apologized to the family of his victim, Vincent Canzani. Cordle said, "It should have been me that night, the guilty party, instead of an innocent man."
Canzani's daughter asked the judge to sentence Cordle to the maximum -- eight and a-half years -- saying, "My father got a death sentence and did nothing wrong." But the judge also read a letter from Canzani's ex-wife who said she believed he would not have wanted a maximum sentence. She said she thinks Cordle will keep his promise never to drink and drive again.
In the three and a-half-minute video posted in early September, Cordle admitted he killed a man and said he "made a mistake" when he decided to drive that night. At the hearing last month where he pleaded guilty, he told the judge that he drank so much, he was "blacked out" -- and that he had no recollection of the crash.
The milestone announced Wednesday marks another step in YouTube's evolution from a quirky startup launched in 2005 to one of the most influential forces in today's media landscape.
YouTube crossed the 1 billion threshold five months after Facebook Inc. said its online social network had reached that figure for the first time.
The vast audience has given YouTube's owner, Google Inc., another lucrative channel for selling online ads beyond its dominant Internet search engine.
Google bought YouTube for $1.76 billion in 2006 when the video site had an estimated 50 million users worldwide.