New trial date set for Terry Thompson in death of John Hernandez

HOUSTON – On Tuesday, the date for Terry Thompson’s murder retrial was set to Oct. 18, according to court records.

Thompson and his wife, Chauna, a former Harris County deputy, are each charged with murder in the death of John Hernandez after a confrontation outside Denny’s restaurant on Crosby Freeway in northeast Houston on May 28, 2017.

Terry Thompson’s first trial ended in a mistrial after 11 of 12 jurors decided he was not guilty of murder. Ten decided he was also not guilty of the lesser manslaughter charge. 

Eight jurors decided Thompson was not even guilty of the lowest possible charge, criminally negligent homicide.

“For the family, it should always be murder. That’s what they believe,” Hernandez family spokesperson Cesar Espinosa said. “At the end of the day, they know their loved one was taken away and they know there was intent behind their loved one being taken away.”

Espinosa said the Hernandez family would like to see a more diverse jury this time around, as well as an improved prosecution.

“That they prepare the case better, that they call different witnesses, some witnesses they didn’t call before, so they can make a stronger case,” Espinosa said.

Terry Thompson’s wife, Chauna, who was fired from her job as a Harris County sheriff’s deputy after the indictments were handed down, is scheduled to stand trial for murder on Oct. 19, according to court records.

In June, Thompson’s defense attorney told the jury Hernandez had been drunk and started the fight. The prosecution argued Thompson intended to kill Hernandez when he put him in a chokehold, which was caught on cellphone video.

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