April 3, 2019
Harris County prosecutors today moved to dismiss the murder charge against former sheriff’s deputy Chauna Thompson, who was indicted for the 2017 murder of John Hernandez.
Hernandez was strangled to death in the parking lot of a Denny’s in Crosby. Chauna Thompson’s husband, Terry Thompson, was convicted of murder last year and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Prosecutors said that after a thorough review of all the evidence, there was no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she had committed a crime.
“Courts have often said the role of a prosecutor is to do justice not to simply convict,” First Assistant Tom Berg said. “Our action today is based on the lack of evidence to convict somebody and our ethical obligation not to go forward. To be clear, Ms. Thompson’s former employment as a deputy sheriff played no role in our decision to dismiss, just as it played no role in our original decision to present the case to a grand jury.”
The decision to request a dismissal was made after prosecutors met with Hernandez’s parents, widow and their supporters. Prior to requesting the charge be dropped, prosecutors reviewed a wealth of evidence developed during Terry Thompson’s two murder trials.
“We hope that sparing the Hernandez family the ordeal of a third trial will help them move on with their lives, though we know this does not bring back their loved one,” Berg said.