A Texas grand jury charged a Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy and her husband on Thursday for the alleged choking murder of a man outside a Denny’s restaurant.
District Attorney Kim Ogg announced that Chauna and Terry Thompson will be held responsible for the death of 24-year-old John Hernandez during the altercation that took place in May.
“We believe that a just result for the victim, the offender, and the community are important and this requires equal application of the law to everyone,” Ogg said. “And today we move one step close to justice for John Hernandez.”
According Click2Houston, the Thompsons turned themselves in just hours after the indictment and booked into the Harris County Jail. They posted $100,000 bond and were released on Friday. The couple could face 5-years to life in prison if convicted. Deputy Chauna Thompson, who was on active duty up to the day of the incident, has been suspended.
The swift indictment by the grand jury came after a video shot by a bystander was posted online Tuesday. In the 52-second video, Terry Thompson can be seen on top of Hernandez applying a chokehold while the 24-year-old groans and flails his legs in obvious distress. Blood is also visible on Hernandez’s hands and on the sidewalk.
Hernandez died three days later. The Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office declared his death to be a homicide caused by strangulation and chest compression.
From The Houston Press:
According to the sheriff’s office, the fight began when Terry Thompson arrived at the restaurant with the couple’s children after 11 p.m. on May 28, and became upset when he allegedly saw Hernandez urinating in public — a claim the Hernandez family denies. At some point after Terry Thompson confronted Hernandez, the pair began fighting. Chauna Thompson, who was off-duty, arrived to meet her husband and children. She saw her husband and Hernandez fighting, called for on-duty police to respond, and helped subdue Hernandez.
Watch a report on the story in the video below:
Featured image via screen grab