CBS/AP November 6, 2018, 11:53 AM Former deputy's husband guilty of murder in deadly confrontation outside Denny's
HOUSTON — A jury has convicted the husband of a former sheriff's deputy for the strangulation death of a man the couple had confronted outside a Houston-area Denny's restaurant. Jurors on Monday found Terry Thompson guilty of murder.
The conviction comes after a judge declared a mistrial in June at Thompson's first trial. Jurors deliberated more than 26 hours over three days, but couldn't reach a verdict.
The incident began after Thompson confronted Hernandez about urinating in the parking lot of the Denny's in Sheldon in May 2017. Prosecutors argued Thompson wanted to kill 24-year-old John Hernandez and kept him in a chokehold after he stopped resisting.
Thompson's attorneys countered that he was only defending himself after being punched. They insisted Thompson kept Hernandez subdued only until he stopped resisting.
A waitress who witnessed the altercation told CBS affiliate KHOU at the time that she and her manager begged Thompson to stop choking the victim after he turned purple.
Cellphone video recorded by a bystander shows a man who appears to be Terry Thompson lying on top of Hernandez.
The medical examiner ruled Hernandez, 24, died from strangulation and chest compression.
Thompson's wife, Chauna Thompson, helped restrain Hernandez and is also charged with murder. She was later fired by the Harris County Sheriff's Office. Her trial is set for April.
Terry Thompson's trial moved to its punishment phase on Tuesday, after which jurors are expected to deliberate a sentence. The first of what's expected to be several days of testimony began Tuesday.
Thompson faces up to life in prison.