Murder charges dropped against former Harris County deputy arrested in strangulation case

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Harris County prosecutors have dismissed the murder charges against Chauna Thompson, the former sheriff’s deputy indicted for the 2017 murder of John Hernandez.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office said the action was based on a lack of evidence and said it was their ethical obligation to not go forward.

Members of the victim’s family gathered outside of the Denny’s late Wednesday after they heard about the dropped charge.

John Hernandez was 24 years old when Chauna’s husband, Terry Thompson, allegedly strangled him to death in the parking lot of a Denny’s restaurant along the Crosby Freeway.

It started when Terry confronted Hernandez about urinating outside the restaurant in front of their teenage daughter and her friend. Hernandez punched Terry in the eye, and then Terry put him in a chokehold.

Chauna, who was off-duty at the time, is seen in cell phone video of the incident appearing to help her husband restrain Hernandez. Once he was unconscious, she then preformed CPR on him.

Terry went through two trials after the first one was declared a mistrial. Last November, he was convicted of murder in Hernandez’s death and is serving a 25-year sentence.

The Hernandez family spokesperson said yesterday he hopes the family can begin to close this dark chapter in their lives, even though he doesn’t believe justice is being served.

“There will never be full justice for the Hernandez family because John will never be here again,” FIEL Executive Cesar Espinosa said. “Meantime, Chauna gets to continue living her life. So one of the asks the family had is if she is going to continue to be free that she never has a job in a law enforcement agency ever.”

Thompson was fired from the sheriff’s office in July of 2017. We know she filed an appeal after she lost her job, but it appears that process is still ongoing.


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