Texas Deputy, Husband Face Murder Charges

Man died after they restrained him outside a Denny's
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 9, 2017 12:32 AM CDT
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez holds a press conference with Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg Thursday in Houston.   (Elizabeth Conley)
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(Newser) – A Texas sheriff's deputy and her husband were indicted Thursday on murder charges in the death of a man they restrained during a late-night confrontation outside of a restaurant while she was off duty. A Harris County grand jury in Houston returned the indictment against Chauna and Terry Thompson for the fatal altercation with 24-year-old John Hernandez, the AP reports. The Thompsons, who declined to testify before the grand jury, both turned themselves in about 10pm Thursday, authorities say. Bond has been set at $100,000 apiece. The grand jury heard from more than a dozen witnesses and viewed bystander video of the May 28 incident.

Hernandez died three days after the confrontation, which occurred outside a Denny's restaurant in Sheldon, 17 miles northeast of Houston. Investigators said Terry Thompson saw an intoxicated Hernandez urinating outside the restaurant and that he restrained Hernandez while his wife helped. A medical examiner ruled that Hernandez died of lack of oxygen to the brain caused by strangulation and chest compression. District Attorney Kim Ogg says Chauna Thompson, a Harris County deputy, was indicted on a murder charge because Texas law holds a person equally criminally responsible if that individual aids or otherwise participates in the act. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says Thompson has been placed on administrative leave. (Read more Texas stories.)

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