A Harris County grand jury in Houston, Texas indicted Sheriffs Deputy Chauna Thompson and her husband Terry for the murder of 24-year-old John Hernandez. The couple was charged with the fatal restraint of Hernandez outside of a Houston Dennys Restaurant. Witnesses filmed the husband straddling Hernandez while holding his neck in a chokehold as others attempted to prevent the videotaping and allow the murder to continue.
Hernandez died three days after being held while kicking and groaning outside of the restaurant in front of customers and employees. The medical examiner ruled Hernandez died from strangulation and chest compression. Jack Carroll, the attorney for the person who recorded the video, said the man restraining Hernandez used an illegal chokehold.
Witness spoke to the press stating that they were screaming at the couple asking them to let the man go. Per the witnesses, neither the wife nor the husband would let Hernandez go, after 10-15 minutes he was limp, and the wife performed CPR.
Witnesses said he beat and restrained Hernandez even after he was clearly unconscious. They said Hernandez was too drunk to defend himself against the much larger Thompson.
“It’s wrong, you know they shouldn’t have killed the man. Nobody’s life is worth taking for a mistake. We all make mistakes,” Melissa Trammel told KHOU. “Me and my manager, we begged this man. He was turning purple we told him to stop but he did not stop.”
Per the Harris County Sheriffs Office Twitter page, the husband and wife turned themselves in at approximately 10 p.m. Thursday. According to District Attorney Kim Ogg, both Thompsons declined to testify before the grand jury, Bond was set at $100,000 each. The defendants posted bond and were released, as reported by KHOU-TV.
“We believe that this grand jury true bill is a reflection of our community’s belief that a crime occurred,” Harris County DA Kim Ogg said. “And that crime was murder and it was participated by Terry Thompson and his wife Deputy Chauna Thompson. We grieve with the Hernandez family and wish them Godspeed during this difficult time. Today we moved one step closer to justice for John Hernandez,”
Social Media shows multiple posts of outrage, and someone even found an alleged photo of Terry Thompson at a Trump Rally. GCE is unable to confirm the validity of this post.
Texas law holds a person equally criminally responsible if that individual aids or otherwise participates in the act. The footage shows Chauna Thompson assisting her husband, and yelling at onlookers. As a trained officer, it will be interesting to see if the District Attorney brings up Chauna’s knowledge of how lethal a chokehold can be and if she – who is sworn with a duty to “protect and serve” lived up to her oath.
The family of John Hernandez spoke to the press stating they wouldn’t seek the death penalty out of concern for the defendant’s family. Hernandez aunt said, “We have love and we have a heart and are human, too. We would rather see them get life sentences.”