The husband of a former Texas deputy has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after he fatally choked a man outside a Denny’s restaurant.Terry Thompson was convicted of murder Monday and sentenced Wednesday in the death of 24-year-old John Hernandez, CNN affiliate KTRK reported.The young father was left unconscious last year after Thompson confronted him for urinating outside the restaurant and an altercation ensued, the Harris County sheriff’s office said. He was taken off life support three days later.
A 52-second cell phone video showed Hernandez kicking and gasping for air as Thompson restrained him in a chokehold while Thompson’s wife, an off-duty deputy, pinned Hernandez’s left arm to the ground.The couple was indicted on murder charges nearly two weeks after the incident. Thompson’s wife, former Harris County Deputy Chauna Thompson, was fired months later.The case sparked a series of protests and authorities faced allegations that Thompson received preferential treatment from his wife’s law enforcement colleagues. This week’s verdict and sentence came months after Thompson’s previous trial ended in a mistrial.Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg described Thompson’s sentence as appropriate, saying it would bring solace to the Hernandez family and the community.
“I think this is another lesson that things are never resolved successfully through violence and when they are, people would pay the price just as Terry Thompson did,” Ogg told reporters outside the courtroom.Scott Courtney, Thompson’s attorney, said it was not the outcome he wanted.”I never quarrel with the jury’s decision, and I don’t. They heard the evidence and they came to a just verdict and we accept that,” Courtney told KTRK.Chauna Thompson’s trial is set for April, Ogg said.