HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Just one day after the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences confirmed that John Hernandez, 24, died as a result of strangulation with chest compression following a fight outside a Crosby-area diner, protesters marched to the Harris County Sheriff's Office and Harris County Criminal Courthouse buildings. Hernandez died at a hospital after his fight with the husband of a Harris County deputy.
A Harris County grand jury will review the case of a fatal fight outside of a Denny’s before the weekend. The victim's families have been pushing for charges and arrests since that incident. Each day the demonstrations grow larger and the cries for justice grow louder. Carrying signs reading “Justice for Johnny” they thread through downtown to the criminal courthouse. There the family's lawyer pressed for charges to be pressed against Terry Thompson and his Harris County deputy wife.
“There is more than ample evidence to charge both of them with a crime,” the family’s attorney Randall Kallinen said.
He wants them charged for what happened outside of a Denny's restaurant last week. Some facts are in dispute, but we do know this: Thompson and Hernandez fought, and Shauna Thompson helped pin down Hernandez. When it was over, Hernandez went to the hospital and the Thompsons went free.
The family claims there's been favorable treatment. The sheriff says the investigation is far from over and there could be more witnesses.
In an effort to be transparent and make sure we’re thorough, we want to allow ample time for them to come forward now, not in the future, but now with whatever information,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
The district attorney's office says it will present what it has to the grand jury. The D.A.'s office says it's going to the grand jury, because of the way this case has slowly unfolded when the evidence has come forward, and not because of any favoritism.
"This case has got her complete attention. Not because a deputy's husband is involved. We will show no favoritism and we will let the chips fall as they may with the grand jury and the grand jury will make its call. And we will presume anybody the grand jury instructs us to by way of the indictment," said First Assistant District Attorney Tom Berg.
They've been demanding justice and justice now, so how long is this going to take? Well, the wheels of justice grind slowly and grand juries do what they're going to do. They could take days, even weeks, and they could even ask for more information before offering up an indictment or not.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) District VIII is deeply disturbed by the video images surrounding the death of John Hernandez.
We accept the Medical Examiner's determination that the incident was ruled a homicide and applaud the Sheriff's Office for requesting outside law enforcement agencies to be involved.
We asks for a thorough review by the investigative authorities and that they provide transparency and full disclosure to the community. The League will continue to closely monitor this case as it proceeds through the criminal justice and legal systems.
The off-duty deputy, who is the wife of the man who fought Hernandez, later identified as Terry Thompson, was placed on administrative duty indefinitely as of Tuesday.