Texas deputy fired after investigation into chokehold death

Posted at 8:53 PM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-22 23:00:44-04

By Dakin Andone

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A Texas deputy who was indicted in connection with a man’s chokehold death has been fired, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.

Chauna Thompson, 45, lost her job after an internal investigation into the death of John Hernandez, 24, a statement from the sheriff’s office said.

Thompson’s husband, Terry Thompson, allegedly put Hernandez in a chokehold May 28 after he confronted Hernandez for urinating outside a Denny’s restaurant, authorities said. Chauna Thompson, who was off duty at the time, helped hold Hernandez down.

Hernandez was rendered unconscious and died three days later at a hospital.

Chauna Thompson and Terry Thompson, 41, were indicted last month on murder charges.

The victim’s cousin said Friday it was “a step in the right direction.”

“It was great news to us,” Melissa Hernandez said at a news conference. “We feel like it should have happened since day one, but it’s a step in the right direction and we’re pleased with the outcome.”

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez expressed support for his officers in announcing Thompson’s termination.

“While our in-depth investigation uncovered no evidence of nefarious actions on the part of our on-duty personnel who worked the initial incident scene, we did find areas in which we must improve as a department,” Gonzalez said in a statement.

Thirty-two people were interviewed during the investigation, the statement said, which led to Thompson’s termination and lesser disciplinary actions against three sergeants and another deputy.

CNN could not reach Thompson’s attorney for comment Saturday.

CNN’s Ed Lavandera, Jason Morris and Nicole Chavez contributed to this report.