Terry Thompson's ex-fiancee remembers him as sweet, kind man with a temper

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The ex-fiancee of Terry Thompson, the man now indicted for the strangulation death of John Hernandez, remembers Thompson as a sweet and kind man.

Elisabeth Eldridge can't believe the man she fell in love with 20 years ago is the same person seen on the chilling cell phone video with his body on top of John Hernandez that fateful night outside of Denny's.

"I could see his face on that video," said Eldridge, who recognized Thompson right away when the cell video flashed across television screens. "He didn't know he was choking that guy out because if he knew that the guy was dying, he would have gotten off of him."

Eldridge said it's just her opinion, but she does not believe Thompson would intentionally kill a person. She told Eyewitness News that she is speaking out not to defend her former lover, but to paint a more complete picture of the man charged with killing John Hernandez.

SEE ALSO: Deputy Chauna Thompson and husband Terry out on bond after indictment

"He had a temper," admits Eldridge, who has known Thompson since he was a teenager. Eldridge, several years older, says she dated Thompson for approximately six years. During that time, she remembers a particular fight they had in which he picked up an axe.

"He was swinging the axe and chopping up my porch. He didn't hit nobody," said Eldridge.

The complex picture Eldridge paints of Thompson also includes softer moments. She pulled out a photo of Thompson dressed in his Navy uniform. On the back of the small photo was signed: 'Best looking sailor in the Navy.' Thompson's time in the Navy was brief; records show he lasted less than a year.

It was somewhere during this very brief Naval career that Eldridge first heard of Chauna, now Thompson's wife. He allegedly left Eldridge for Chauna, and they married soon after.

"Horrible. I felt gutted like a fish," remembered Eldridge.

Eldridge said she last spoke to Thompson four years ago, when he called to apologize for the way he broke up with her. When the news broke of Hernandez's murder, she was devastated.

"It sickens me, it sickens me for his children, it sickens me for the world. It sickens me for him."

Eldridge believes both Thompsons should be punished for their actions at Denny's that night. But should her former lover spend the rest of his life behind bars? Eldridge remains uncertain.

"I think he did something wrong. I think he unintentionally killed a man, and took a father away from his children, and a husband away from his wife. But I don't think that he personally knew that the guy was dying."

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