Protesters expected as ex-deputy, husband accused of murder appear in court

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A former Harris County sheriff’s deputy and her husband, both charged with murder after being accused of choking a Crosby man outside a Denny’s restaurant, are expected to appear in court Tuesday.

Chauna Thompson, 45, and her husband, Terry Thompson, 41, turned themselves in Thursday night, just hours after being indicted and both made bail of $100,000. They could face up to life in prison if convicted.

They are expected to be arraigned by state District Judge Kelli Johnson in a brief hearing. Community activists who helped organize a protest march across downtown Houston last week said they planned to attend the proceedings.

READ ALSO: Family of victim in Denny’s choking case files lawsuit

“We would like the court process to be transparent so that we can find Justice for John Hernandez and his family,” said Cesar Espinoza, executive director of FIEL Houston, Inc. an organization that advocates for justice for immigrant families.

The organizers and relatives of Hernandez have said they hope both suspects are sentenced to life in prison.

Both are accused of the first–degree felony of intentionally causing the death of John Hernandez, with Terry Thompson accused of choking him to death as he held him pinned to the ground. Chauna Thompson was charged as an accomplice.

READ ALSO: Homicide ruled in man’s death after fight with husband of deputy

The indictments Thursday came a day after more than 150 protesters marched across downtown Houston proclaiming “Justice for John Hernandez” and “Brown Lives Matter.”

The march was the culmination of a week of unrest after cell phone video of the incident was released.

Terry’s attorney, Scott Courtney, said prosecutors rushed the case without giving the grand jury time to consider all the evidence. He has maintained that Terry did not intentionally kill Hernandez and said Hernandez took the first swing after the two men argued.

READ ALSO: New video surfaces in fatal altercation at Denny’s

Later Tuesday, Randall Kallinen, a civil rights attorney representing the family, is expected to hold a press conference to announce the Hernandez family is suing the Thompsons in a wrongful death lawsuit.

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