Family of man killed in fight outside Denny's prepares for upcoming trial

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of a man who died after a violent confrontation outside a Denny's in northeast Harris County says they're seeking justice.

Surrounded by supporters, their attorney and members of the organization FIEL, John Hernandez's family spoke Friday morning outside the Harris County Criminal Courthouse in downtown Houston.

Friday is also the first day jury selection is set to begin in the trial of Terry Thompson, who is accused of murdering Hernandez.

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RAW VIDEO: Eyewitness video shows a closer view of deadly fight outside Denny's. (WARNING: Some viewers may find this video disturbing)

Terry Thompson's wife, Chauna, is also accused of murder in this case.

Terry got into a fight with John Hernandez outside of the restaurant on May 28, 2017.

Hernandez's wife said the fight began when her husband, who was drunk, went outside the restaurant to urinate and subsequently encountered Terry.

Surveillance video shows Terry holding down Hernandez for several minutes until authorities arrive.

Chauna, a former Harris County sheriff's deputy, was off-duty when she met Terry at the restaurant that night. She also restrained Hernandez, who was left in a coma.

He later died.

Raw video: Supporters of John Hernandez speak about his passing

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The family of John Hernandez and supporters are speaking out.

Now a little over a year after his death, Hernandez's family says they're still struggling to cope.

"It's been horrible for my family. My mom was in the hospital because she couldn't stand it. It was too much for her," said Hernandez's sister.

Speaking through a translator, Hernandez's parents thanked the community for their support.

FIEL Executive Director Cesar Espinosa says that they plan to be outside the courthouse everyday "until we see justice come through. We will be here until we see this case through the end."

The Thompsons were indicted for murder exactly one year ago Friday in the death of Hernandez. If convicted, they could each face five years to life.

"Justice is coming in the form of the trial that is starting here today. More than a dozen witnesses came forward for the prosecution," said Randall Kallinen, the attorney for the Hernandez family. "Now it's time for the trial to start. The Hernandez family has not lost one ounce of sorrow since he passed."

Chauna will go on trial in October.
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