HOUSTON – A jury convicted Brian Tatum of two counts of murder. His sentence was supposed to be decided by a judge, but that changed when both sides agreed to 50 years.
“That’s all I wanted in life, to give my baby justice for what he did to her,” said Augustina Vasquez.
BACKGROUND: Man facing two murder charges after allegedly crashing into rideshare in North Houston, killing two women
Vasquez waited two and a half years for this day.
September 20, 2020, Vasquez’s 25-year-old daughter, Priscilla DeLeon, a graduate of Texas A&M, and her 24-year-old cousin Diana Salazar, who graduated with honors from U of H Downtown, were killed in a crash caused by Tatum.
Tatum hit the gas when sheriff’s deputies tried to pull him over for running a red light. He crashed into an Uber the cousins were riding in.
“I sentence you to 50 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for each of these cases,” said 351st Criminal District Court Judge Nata Cornielio.
“That’s what he earned for his own actions. Not just in this horrific crash, but his own actions of years and years being a career criminal,” said Assistant DA Sean Teare.
“She had a life ahead of her. She wanted a family, she wanted children. You took that away from her,” Diana’s Martina Salazar told Tatum during her victim impact statement. “It was horrible looking at him again, but we’re finally getting closure. Two and a half years, it took a long time.”
During her impact statement, Vasquez told Tatum her daughters last words to her were, “I’ll be back.”
“Since she left that night, I hadn’t seen her till five days later in a coffin,” Vasquez said. “That’s my baby, my only daughter.”
“He did not react at all. No emotion nothing,” said Salazar.
The two beautiful young women would be alive and Tatum would be free if he just had stopped for the cops.
“Nobody wins here, nobody wins,” said Teare. “If he had stopped, none of us would be standing here right now.”
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