Deputy, Husband Indicted on Murder Charges in Off-Duty Killing of Man in Houston

Dallas News video screenshot
Dallas News video screenshot

Updated Thursday, June 8, 2017, 10:49 p.m. EDT: Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced Thursday afternoon that a grand jury indicted Deputy Chauna Thompson and her husband, Terry Thompson, on murder charges in the death of John Hernandez.


According to Click2Houston, the charging document says Hernandez’s death was caused by 41-year-old Terry Thompson “placing a strangulating hold on [Hernandez] and maintaining pressure while placing the weight of the defendant’s body on [Hernandez].”

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

The bond for both Thompsons was set at $100,000, and each of them faces five years to life in prison if convicted.


A Texas man died of strangulation after being restrained by an off-duty deputy and her husband during an altercation outside a restaurant, and state and federal departments are being asked by local authorities to investigate the incident after the death was ruled a homicide Tuesday.

The Associated Press reports that 24-year-old John Hernandez died of lack of oxygen to the brain caused by strangulation and chest compression, according to the Harris County medical examiner.

Investigators told AP that the May 28 incident started when Terry Thompson, whose wife is Harris County Deputy Chauna Thompson, became offended after allegedly seeing an intoxicated Hernandez urinate outside a Houston-area Denny’s. Cellphone video of the incident, taken by a bystander and posted by the Dallas News, shows a man lying on top of Hernandez using what attorney Jack Carroll, who released the video at a Monday news conference, described as an illegal choke hold.


Carroll told the Dallas News that Chauna Thompson kneeled beside her husband and helped restrain Hernandez until he lost consciousness.

According to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, before she helped her husband restrain Hernandez, Chauna Thompson called for assistance and emergency medical services; and when she noticed that Hernandez was not breathing, she began CPR until help arrived.


In the video, bystanders can be heard telling Terry Thompson to stop. Thompson’s daughter eventually confronts the person recording the video, tells the person to stop recording and blocks the person’s view.

Terry Thompson has not been charged.

Read more at the Associated Press and the Dallas News.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.


Absent Humanity

The two people that blocked off bystanders should be charged as accessories to murder as well. Justice for the man’s killers is great, but a clean sweep on everyone involved is more than warranted.