HOUSTON — Terry Thompson has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in the death of 24-year-old John Hernandez. The sentence came in Wednesday evening.

On Monday, jurors found Thompson guilty of murder for the May 2017 choking death of Hernandez.

Witnesses recorded cell phone video that showed Thompson restraining Hernandez after a confrontation outside a Denny's restaurant in east Harris County.

Hernandez was in the choke hold until he lost consciousness. He died in a hospital a few days later.

Thompson's first trial ended in a mistrial after jurors remained deadlocked after three days of deliberations. Eleven of the 12 jurors in that case later said they believed Thompson was not guilty of murder.

This time, the jury of nine women and three men began deliberating on Friday and returned the verdict just before 2 p.m. Monday.

The news came as a relief to relatives of Hernandez.

"We just needed some of that closure that they were actually going to handcuff him and take him away like any other person, not someone who's married to a deputy and is privy to this part of the justice system," said Diana Escalante, a relative of the victim.

Related: Prosecutors will retry Terry Thompson after jury deadlocks 11-1 for not guilty

Thompson's wife Chauna, who was a Harris County deputy at the time, was also charged in the case because she allegedly helped her husband hold Hernandez down.

Prosecutors said Thompson was motivated by anger and not fear, as his team argued in the first trial.

Thompson's attorneys said he was defending himself and his wife from an aggressive and drunken Hernandez.

The sentencing phase of Thompson's trial begins Tuesday.

Chauna Thompson's trial is scheduled to begin on March 26, 2019.


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