HOUSTON - The Harris County Sheriff's Office is investigating the actions of several deputies who were at the scene of a deadly beating outside of a Sheldon-area Denny's last month.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said investigators will look into how the initial scene was handled, including the conduct of 7 to 8 deputies who responded to the scene.
Gonzalez also said Chauna Thompson, a HCSO deputy, has been put on administrative leave without pay. Thompson and her husband, Terry Thompson, are accused in the murder of John Hernandez outside of the restaurant.
The Thompsons surrendered just before 10 p.m. Thursday to the Harris County Jail. They were quickly processed and were out of jail early Friday on $100,000 bond each. Authorities later released their mugshots.
Terry Thompson is the man seen on video holding Hernandez in a choke hold outside a Sheldon restaurant. Chauna Thompson helped restrain the victim.
The medical examiner ruled Hernandez, 24, died from strangulation and chest compression.
Terry Thompson confronted Hernandez after seeing him urinating outside the restaurant. Witnesses said he beat and restrained Hernandez even after he was clearly unconscious. They said Hernandez was too drunk to defend himself against the much larger Terry Thompson.
A waitress was one of those witnesses.
“It's wrong, you know they shouldn't have killed the man. Nobody's life is worth taking for a mistake. We all make mistakes,” Melissa Trammel told KHOU 11 News. “Me and my manager we begged this man. He was turning purple we told him to stop but he did not stop."
Hernandez's wife and 3-year-old daughter also begged Thompson to stop but he and his wife ignored their pleas.
“She was crying and telling (the man beating Hernandez) stop and he didn’t even stop,” Hernandez’s wife said last week. “I told him, 'Please stop. Don’t do that to him. He’s drunk.' He wasn’t in any position to fight. But, he didn’t have any compassion. He was really angry.”
A grand indicted the couple on Thursday, and a judge set their bond at $100,000.
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