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Man who caused deadly wreck during chase in NE Houston sentenced

Brian Tatum, 47, was found guilty of two counts of murder for the Sept. 19, 2020, wreck that killed two women.
Credit: Harris County District Attorney's Office
Priscilla DeLeon and Diana Salazar, left, were killed in a wreck caused by Brian Tatum, right, in Septebmer of 2020

HOUSTON — A man who led police on a chase that ended with a deadly crash in north Houston involving an Uber has been sentenced to 50 years in prison, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Brian Tatum, 47, was found guilty on two counts of murder Tuesday. He caused a wreck in 2020 that killed 25-year-old Priscilla DeLeon and her cousin, 24-year-old Diana Salazar. 

On Sept. 19, 2020, police tried to pull Tatum over during a traffic stop. Tatum took off and was driving for about two miles with speeds that the DA’s office says were reaching 100 miles per hour when he T-boned the Uber that DeLeon and Salazar were in.

The impact of the crash cut the Uber in two.

Tatum’s trial lasted for about a week, with the jury deliberating for under an hour to reach their verdict. He was facing anywhere from 25 years to life, but instead of putting the punishment in the hands of jurors or the judge, Tatum agreed to a 50-year sentence, which he can’t appeal.  

According to the district attorney’s office, he must serve at least 25 years before he’s eligible for parole.

According to Assistant Harris County District Attorney Kelly Marshall, Tatum, who was born in Houston, had moved to California, where he had several felony convictions there, including evading arrest.

Sean Teare, chief of the DA's office Vehicular Crimes Division said Tatum's case is an example of what not to do when police try to pull you over.

"If you run and do something like this, you may never get out of prison," Teare said.

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