HOUSTON (Covering Katy News) – Harris County prosecutors today moved to dismiss the murder charge against former Harris County Sheriff’s deputy Chauna Thompson who was indicted for the 2017 murder of John Hernandez.
Hernandez was strangled to death in the parking lot of a Denny’s in Crosby. Chauna Thompson’s husband, Terry Thompson, was convicted of murder last year and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Prosecutors said that after a thorough review of all the evidence, there was no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she had committed a crime.
“Courts have often said the role of a prosecutor is to do justice not to simply convict,” First Assistant Tom Berg said. “Our action today is based on the lack of evidence to convict somebody and our ethical obligation not to go forward. To be clear, Ms. Thompson’s former employment as a deputy sheriff played no role in our decision to dismiss, just as it played no role in our original decision to present the case to a grand jury.”
The decision to request a dismissal was made after prosecutors met with Hernandez’s parents, widow and their supporters.
“Prior to requesting the charge be dropped, prosecutors reviewed a wealth of evidence developed during Terry Thompson’s two murder trials,” said a statement from District Attorney Kim Ogg’s Office.
“We hope that sparing the Hernandez family the ordeal of a third trial will help them move on with their lives, though we know this does not bring back their loved one,” Berg said.
In the first trial of Terry Thompson the jury was deadlocked. Jurors could not agree on whether it was a case of murder or self defense.
Thompson arrived Denny’s shortly after 11 p.m. on May 28, 2017. He was with his wife, his teenaged daughter and two of her girlfriends. Thompson told police he saw Hernandez urinating outside of the restaurant, and asked him to stop.
Hernandez was intoxicated according to evidence produced in the first trial and Thompson suffered a black eye in the confrontation.
Thompson maintains that he did not intend to kill Hernandez.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office offered this reaction to today’s decision by the District Attorney’s Office:
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the District Attorney’s decision to recommend the dismissal of the criminal indictment previously issued against former Deputy Chauna Thompson. A grand jury had issued the indictment after reviewing the circumstances of Ms. Thompson’s off-duty involvement in the 2017 death of John Hernandez.
Ms. Thompson’s appeal of her employment termination is pending before the Civil Service Commission.
The Sheriff’s Office continues to offer its condolences to the Hernandez family.