Murder trial begins for man accused in deadly fight outside Denny's

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Trial begins for man accused in deadly fight outside Denny's, Mayra Moreno reports. (KTRK)

One of the most anticipated trials in Harris County this year is underway.

On Wednesday, attorneys delivered their opening statements in the trial of Terry Thompson, who is charged in the murder of John Hernandez.
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Complete opening arguments of the trial of Terry Thompson


Last May, Thompson got into a fight with Hernandez outside a Denny's restaurant in northeast Harris County.

In cell phone video, you can see the husband of former Harris County Sheriff's deputy Chauna Thompson, holding Hernandez in a chokehold. The fight video is expected to be shown in court on Thursday.

Thompson's wife is also charged with murder.

However, attorneys on both sides acknowledge the video is only about a minute long and doesn't give a full picture of what happened.

More surveillance video is expected to be shown during the trial.

Hernandez's family was in court Wednesday. They spoke outside of the courthouse, asking for justice in his death.

In court, there were two very different descriptions of what led up to Hernandez's death.

Prosecutors describe Thompson as attacking Hernandez for no reason.

"Within seconds of that confrontation, the defendant has the upper hand. He has taken John Hernandez, hurled him over his shoulder and thrown him on his back. He's on top of him, and he's striking him," prosecutor Jules Johnson said.

Meanwhile, defense attorneys say Hernandez was drunk and dangerous.

"The fatal mistake is his response to Mr. Thompson, telling him, 'hey, you can't do that'... to approach Mr. Thompson, to yell at him, and smack him in the eye," defense attorney Scot Courtney said.

Eight men and five women are on the jury.

Chauna Thompson will be tried separately later this year.

DEATH AT DENNY'S: The fight,fatality and fallout of a fateful night
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