Jurors to consider 4 options in deadly Denny's fight trial

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Jurors continue deliberating Terry Thompson's fate in the deadly Denny's fight. (KTRK)

After ending deliberations Friday evening without a decision on murder charges against Terry Thompson, jurors returned to the courthouse Saturday morning to consider Thompson's fate in this trial.

Thompson, the man accused of killing John Hernandez outside Denny's, faces a possible life imprisonment.

Deliberations in the murder trial began Thursday afternoon.

Thompson is charged in the murder of Hernandez when he got into a confrontation last year with Hernandez, holding him in a chokehold.

SEE ALSO: Witness who recorded fight outside Denny's testifies during trial

Jurors have four options to consider.

Before deliberations began, the jury saw the now infamous cell phone video of the fight between Thompson and Hernandez outside of the Denny's last May.

It was during that fight that Thompson placed Hernandez in a chokehold. Hernandez would pass out and later died from his injuries.

RELATED: Timeline of deadly fight in Denny's parking lot


During closing arguments Thursday, the prosecution and the defense presented two very different sides of why the confrontation led to the death of Hernandez.

"Mr. Hernandez walks 46 feet, comes to Mr. Thompson and goes 'whack,' that's what he does," defense attorney Scot Courtney said.

"This is not a fight. This is not a fight. This is an assault that's being afflicted upon a man who is on the ground," prosecutor Jules Johnson said.

The jury has four options when deciding this case. They range from finding Thompson not guilty, guilty of murder, guilty of manslaughter or guilty of negligent homicide.

A murder conviction could mean life in prison. A conviction on manslaughter could mean 20 years in prison, and the negligent homicide charge carries 10 years of prison time.

Meantime, Terry's wife, former Harris County Sheriff's deputy Chauna Thompson, awaits her trial date in October. At least one legal expert says the outcome of Terry's trial will have a deep effect on what happens in his wife's trial.

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ABC13's Miya Shay speaks to a legal expert on how the outcome of a murder trial for Terry Thompson will affect the trial against his wife, a former deputy.

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