Family, friends lay Hernandez to rest, vow 'Justice for John'

By Brittany Taylor - Digital News Editor, Cathy Hernandez - Reporter

HOUSTON - It's been a whirlwind of grief for friends and family of John Hernandez, a 24-year-old father who died after a confrontation with a Harris County deputy’s husband at a Denny’s restaurant.

They gathered for Hernandez’s funeral to say their final goodbyes at St. Dominic Church in northeast Harris County Saturday morning.

"It's heartbreaking that he's gone now but we have to stay strong for him and his parents now more than anything," said Hernandez’s aunt, Ramona Martinez.

The family honored Hernandez by writing "Justice for John" on their cars in white paint and wearing his picture on their chests.

"I just want to thank everyone who's been here supporting us we really appreciate you guys being here and supporting us since day on," said Hernandez’s cousin, Melissa Hernandez.

Prosecutors said John Hernandez had a confrontation with Deputy Officer Chauna Thompson and her husband Terry Thompson outside a Denny’s restaurant on Sheldon Road and the Crosby Freeway on May 28. John Hernandez died three days later.

The medical examiner said he died of brain damage caused by lack of oxygen when he was stranguled and had his chest compressed. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

A grand jury indicted the couple in Hernandez’s death two days ago.

On Saturday, family members said they just want to focus on remembering Hernandez's life.

"(He was_ ... a loving person, a family man person... . He was when he was caring and giving and that's what everyone should always remember about him, and that's who he was," Melissa Hernandez said.

"Today will be the day that we can give him that peace that he needs and he deserves,” Martinez said.

In his honor, family and friends said now they'll continue to fight for justice for John.

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