Will the viral video of Denny’s choking death impact juror…

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HOUSTON – Family, friends and community members gathered on the front steps of the courthouse Friday as attorneys began picking the jury that would hear the murder case against Terry Thompson.

He is accused of killing John Hernandez in May 2017.

“He was really generous and really funny,” Hernandez’s 14-year-old sister, Jennifer Hernandez, said.

Thompson sat in court as attorneys started with 120 prospective jurors and worked to find 12 jurors, plus alternates, to hear the case.  

A prosecutor asked the group if anyone had seen the video on the internet, TV or on social media that showed Thompson holding Hernandez in a chokehold while his wife, Chauna Thompson, then a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy, helped.

Please note this video may contain images and language that some people find unsuitable.

VIDEO: Deputy’s husband uses chokehold on man during confrontation

Hernandez, a father and husband, died a few days later.

“Maybe the defense’s defensive theory is the more times that the jury sees the tape, perhaps the less they will see in it,” said KPRC 2 Legal Analyst Brian Wice.  

Wice said the case could hinge on how many times the jury sees the video. He said more viewing could allow jurors to see inconsistencies that they would not have seen the first time.  

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, the videotape of the alleged offense is worth 10-15, 20 or 100 times that. Unless the defense has a theory that can explain, embrace and ultimately create a scenario that the jury can accept, then they’re going to be up against the prosecution’s best evidence, which is going to be that videotape,” Wice said.

Copyright 2018 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.



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