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Man Sentenced to 50 Years for Killing Two Cousins in Houston

On September 20, 2020, two young women’s lives were cut short in a tragic car accident caused by Brian Tatum. Priscilla DeLeon, 25, a graduate of Texas A&M, and her 24-year-old cousin Diana Salazar, a graduate of U of H Downtown, were killed when Tatum crashed into an Uber they were riding in after he failed to stop when sheriff’s deputies attempted to pull him over for running a red light.

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After two and a half years of waiting, the victims’ families finally received justice when Tatum was convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to 50 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Assistant DA Sean Teare stated that Tatum earned this sentence for his “years and years being a career criminal”.

During their victim impact statements, both Augustina Vasquez, Priscilla’s mother, and Martina Salazar, Diana’s mother, expressed their grief and anger to Tatum. Vasquez recalled her daughter’s last words to her before the accident, “I’ll be back”, and Salazar reminded him of the life and family he had taken away from Diana.

Although Tatum’s sentence brings some closure to the families, Teare noted that “nobody wins here”. If Tatum had simply stopped for the police, the two women would still be alive and he would be free.

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The families of Priscilla DeLeon and Diana Salazar will never be able to forget the tragedy that took away their daughters, but the 50-year sentence for Brian Tatum brings them one step closer to finding peace.

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