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Texas Deputy and Husband Charged with Murder After Altercation at Denny’s

Harris Co. Sheriff's Department
Harris Co. Sheriff’s Department

A Harris County Sheriff’s deputy and her husband are facing murder charges after choking a man to death in a Denny’s parking lot.

Terry Thompson was leaving a Denny’s in Sheldon, TX on May 28th when he encountered 24-year-old John Hernandez urinating in the parking lot. After Thompson yelled at Hernandez to stop, a fight broke out, with Thompson’s attorney saying Hernandez threw the first punch. Thompson’s wife Chauna helped him restrain Hernandez. In video recorded by a witness, you can see Thompson on Hernandez’s back and Chauna restraining Hernandez’s left arm.

Hernandez lost consciousness and Chauna administered CPR. Hernandez was taken to a local hospital, but died a few days later after being removed from life support. The medical examiner cited the cause of death as strangulation and chest compression, due to Thompson’s choke hold and pinning Hernandez down chest-first on the concrete. A grand jury determined that the Thompsons should be indicted and were charged with murder, and the couple later turned themselves in. But their attorney Scot Courtney told ABC 13 that he feels the charges aren’t justified,

I’m extremely disappointed in the indictment but more importantly, in the actual charge. I haven’t seen any evidence that shows Mr. Thompson intended to cause death.

However, the Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg feels that the charges fit the crime,

We believe that this grand jury true bill is a reflection of our community’s belief that a crime occurred. And that crime was murder and it was participated by Terry Thompson and his wife Deputy Chauna Thompson.

If convicted, the Thompsons face anywhere from 5 years to life in prison.

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