Funeral held for man who died after altercation at Denny’s in Crosby

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The 24-year-old  Crosby man whose death after an altercation at a Denny’s led to murder charges against a sheriff’s deputy and her husband was buried Saturday as family and friends gathered to remember him.

The family of John Hernandez appeared somber as they left St. Dominic Catholic Church in Houston after the service.

 They surrounded the casket as it was lifted into the hearse, while other family and friends gathered outside wearing shirts that read, “In loving memory of John Hernandez.”

Melissa Hernandez said she was hoping that the family could finally put this tragedy to rest. She described her cousin as caring and giving.

“That’s what everyone should always remember about him,” she said.

Ignacio Hernandez said he was extremely sad about the death of his son and overwhelmed by the support of the community.

Deputy Chauna Thompson, 45, and her husband, Terry Thompson, 41, are out on bail after being charged with murder.

An altercation began after Terry Thompson pulled up at the restaurant with his children and saw Hernandez urinating in public, the sheriff has said.

A 50-second video shows Terry Thompson on top of a kicking and grunting Hernandez. A witness said she saw Hernandez turning purple and tried to get Terry Thompson to let him go, but he refused.

Chauna Thompson is charged with being an accessory to a murder.

Hernandez died three days later from strangulation and chest compressions, the medical examiner ruled.

Scot Courtney, a defense attorney representing Terry Thompson, has said Hernandez initiated the late-night altercation by throwing, and landing, the first punch.

He said Terry Thompson did not intend to kill the man.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office declined to discuss the charges further except to say that Chauna Thompson was charged under the law of parties, a state law that allows every person who is involved in an intentional crime to be charged with the same offense.

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