Family responds after deputy fired for role in deadly Denny's beating

The family of John Hernandez spoke at a town hall Friday evening after a Harris County Sheriff's deputy was fired for her alleged role in Hernandez's death outside Denny's earlier this year.

A Harris County Sheriff's deputy was fired Friday afternoon for her alleged role in the death of a man outside Denny's earlier this year. The victim's family calls it a step in the right direction.

The family of the victim, John Hernandez, spoke to the media Friday evening at a town hall.

"For it to have taken this long, it's kind of hard to believe that everything was done correctly," said Melissa Hernandez, a cousin of the victim.

The most interesting result of the internal affairs investigation is that it didn't find any wrong-doing on the part of the on-duty deputies that night. Now, the Hernandez family questions did the investigation go far enough?

"It's very hard for everyone to keep reliving the same thing over and over and over again," said Susana Santana, another cousin.

Crowded around a microphone, before a Latino town hall the family had already planned to attend, John Hernandez's father looked for justice.


The Harris County Sheriff's Office announced it fired Deputy Chauna Thompson and disciplined four others Friday afternoon.

"The video is pretty clear in my opinion," said Melissa.

The video is hard to watch. A grand jury indicted Thompson and her husband Terry for the May 28, 2017 murder of Hernandez. Witnesses say Thompson who was off-duty at the time, helped her husband hold Hernandez down, while he beat and strangled him to death.

That night Hernandez was celebrating a soccer win with his family at Denny's. His wife told us he was drunk and he walked outside to urinate which led to a confrontation with Terry Thompson and eventually his death.

"I wished, I hoped that (the deputies involved) will be disciplined correctly and I don't think that some of them were," said Melissa.

Questions came from the beginning. They family wondered did deputies try to cover it up? While they're thankful Thompson no longer wears a badge, they wonder how it ever escalated to this.

"When an officer is out there, they're supposed to be protecting a person, not committing a crime against a person," said Santana.

Investigators interviewed 32 people as a part of the investigation. In the meantime, the family still has a civil lawsuit working it's way through court.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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