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Murder suspect leads police on high speed chase

Sheriff Brian Hawthorne reports that Thursday at approximately 5 p.m., Chambers County Detectives Cody Burk and Christopher Detorre were working criminal interdiction on IH-10 near mile marker 810.  The Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a purple 2017 Nissan Maxima with a Mississippi license plate for a traffic violation. The vehicle was occupied by two black males.  The driver, identified himself as Tommy Butler and the passenger was identified as 19 year old, Tauj Chardez Taplin, from Kentwood, Louisiana.  The driver was asked to exit the vehicle when Deputies became suspicious that criminal activity may be occurring.   A records check revealed that Tauj Taplin, showed to be wanted out of Bogalusa, Louisiana, for Homicide and was noted to be armed and dangerous with violent tendencies.  When the driver realized that Deputies were about to arrest Taplin, he warned Taplin to flee.  Taplin jumped in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and fled the scene while the driver resisted arrest.  Deputies temporarily lost site of the vehicle but radioed for assistance.  Nearby units began searching for the vehicle.  Chambers County Detective Tanner Dickens was able to locate the vehicle traveling east bound on IH-10 approaching Winnie.

Chambers County Sheriff’s Office contacted Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department as well as Beaumont Police Department to request assistance to stop the vehicle as it was entering their jurisdiction.  Once Beaumont PD units got behind the vehicle in an attempt to stop it, Taplin began evading in the motor vehicle again at high rates of speed.  Beaumont PD continued the pursuit through Beaumont into Orange County.  It was reported that Taplin possibly tried to ram multiple patrol cars in the Orange County / Vidor area.  Multiple agencies pursued Taplin down IH-10 into Louisiana.  Taplin was taken into custody without further incident near mile marker 4 on IH-10 by multiple agencies.  A gun was recovered from the vehicle as well.  Detectives involved in the murder investigation arrived to assist with the apprehension.  Through further investigation, the original driver of the vehicle who had reported himself to be Tommy Butler, was actually a 19 year old male named Quardavion Tyvon White, who is also wanted for murder.  White remains in the custody of the Chambers County Jail at this time while Taplin was taken into custody by authorities in Louisiana.

This is an ongoing investigation involving multiple agencies.  Detectives with the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office are continuing to look into the facts of this case as well as any possible evidence that may be recovered.  Information is still being gathered at this time.