Cumbie sentenced after boating DUI deaths

Patrick Cumbie (Courtesy: Elmore County Sheriff's Office)
Patrick Cumbie (Courtesy: Elmore County Sheriff's Office)

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - Patrick Cumbie, who pleaded guilty to charges in a boating accident  that killed two people, learned his fate in an Elmore County courtroom Monday morning.

Cumbie was sentenced to 24 months for Homicide by Vessel, 24 months for Assault 2nd, both felonies, and 12 month each for 3 misdemeanor Assault charges in Judge Ben Fuller's courtroom. However, the sentences will all run concurrent, and as part of the plea agreement, Judge Fuller split the sentence to serve 12 months.

In total, Cumbie will spend the next 12 months in prison followed by three years on probation as part of the plea deal.

An intoxicated Cumbie was operating a vessel on Lake Martin on August 9, 2008 when it slammed into another boat carrying Donny Tatum and his sister-in-law, Sue Tatum. Both victims died as a result of the crash. Three other people in the boat with the Tatums were also injured.

Cumbie's blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was nearly double the legal limit in the state of Alabama.

The Tatum family played a large roll in the plea process and ultimately agreed to the split sentence. Cumbie apologized to the victims and their families at the sentencing.

Donnie Tatum's widow, Teresa, as well as the children of Sue Tatum, spoke at the sentencing.

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