Evidence concerning a fatal altercation between the husband of a Harris County sheriff’s deputy and a 24-year-old male outside of a Denny’s will be presented to a grand jury, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The decision to send the case before a grand jury follows a report by the Harris County Coroner’s Office which ruled 24-year-old John Hernandez’s death a homicide.
Hernandez was involved in an altercation outside of a Denny’s in Sheldon, Texas on May 28 when Terry Thompson, 41, confronted Hernandez over urinating in public. Reports indicate that Thomason’s wife, Chauna, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, called for assistance from the sheriff’s office and emergency medical service, before helping her husband restrain Hernandez.
It is still unclear who initiated the physical part of the altercation.
The altercation lasted roughly 10-minutes, and by the end Hernandez was motionless and unresponsive. He was rushed to LBJ hospital and was removed from life-support on June 1.
Medical examiners listed Hernandez’s cause of death as “anoxic encephalopathy due to strangulation with chest compression.” In simpler terms, Hernandez died because strangulation around his neck blocked arteries from delivering fresh oxygen-carrying blood to his brain while chest compression prevented his lungs from expanding and getting new oxygen into his bloodstream.
A video of Hernandez’s death has been released to the media and show about one minute of the ten minute altercation. In the video, Hernandez can be seen kicking his legs as Terry Thompson lays on top of him with an arm around the front of Hernandez’s neck. Chauna Thompson can be seen restraining one of Hernandez’s arms.
The footage is eventually obstructed by two individuals who say that it is illegal for the witness to record the scene.
The video will likely be among the evidence presented to the grand jury as they decide whether to pursue criminal charges in the case.
Chauna Thompson has since been pulled from patrol duties.