Jury deliberations begin in trial of man accused in deadly fight outside Denny's

Friday, June 22, 2018
Terry Thompson trial jurors to continue delibartions Friday morning
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Terry Thompson's murder trial will continue Friday after jurors ended their deliberations for the evening.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The jury in the Terry Thompson murder trial has ended deliberations for the night.

Jurors were dismissed late Thursday evening. They will resume the heavy task of deciding Thompson's guilt or innocence in a deadly fight outside a Denny's restaurant on Friday at 9 a.m.

Thompson is charged in the murder of John Hernandez. Last May, he got into a confrontation with Hernandez, holding him in a chokehold.

Hernandez was left in a coma and later died.

For a final time inside the courtroom Thursday, prosecutors played the infamous video for the jury which showed Thompson on top of Hernandez.

Jury deliberations begin in trial of man accused in deadly fight outside Denny's

During the case, prosecutors said Hernandez was kicking and groaning because he was fighting for his life and he couldn't breathe.

The defense painted an image of a drunk and violent Hernandez who was looking for a fight that night.

"He has a history of head-butting her and choking her. She signed a paper saying this about three months ago and she said when he drinks he gets mean, he becomes a different person. That's the person we saw," said the defense attorney.

However, what Thompson said in the back of patrol car, prosecutors said, should prove what he intended to do.

"This defendant, Terry Thompson, told the police 'I placed him in the chokehold' and then he said 'I applied the chokehold,'" said the prosecutor to the jury during closing arguments.

On Wednesday, the state rested its case. Day six of the trial also featured testimonies from a doctor and the manager of the Denny's restaurant.

Dr. William Smock, who specializes in asphyxiation, talked about what happens during a chokehold.

RELATED: Witness who recorded deadly Denny's fight testifies during trial

He testified that you lose consciousness at 6.8 seconds. At 30 seconds, you lose control of your bowels and between 62 seconds and just under two minutes, you lose your life.

While the defense argued that Hernandez was fighting back, Smock testified that Hernandez was moving around because he was gasping for air.

Meanwhile, the Denny's manager who called 911 to report the fight was questioned.

She told jurors Thompson was on top of Hernandez beating him with a closed fist and that if police did not arrive soon, she felt one of the two was going to die.

Hernandez's father spoke to ABC13 through a translator, saying that he is hoping for a conviction in the case.

"What happened to his son could be happening to someone else and he should not be walking on the streets," said translator Blanca Rodriguez Alanis.

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