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Hearing continues for Texas ex-deputy, husband charged with murder in choking death

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By Brian Rogers, Chron

Harris County, Texas District Clerk Chris Daniel took the stand Tuesday to testify about the possible jury pool for the trials of a sheriff's deputy and her husband who are charged with murder in the May chokehold death of John Hernandez at a local Denny's.

The defense for Ex-deputy Chauna Thompson - who has been fired from the sheriff's office - and her husband Terry Thompson are arguing for a change of venue, and want to move the case to another county because of publicity in the case.

Both the district clerk and Dane Schiller, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney's Office, testified that after 10 days of intense media scrutiny when the Thompsons were arrested last June, that coverage has fallen off.

"The interest has dropped off significantly," Schiller said. "There are reporters covering this hearing, but interest has dropped off."

Daniel also testified that the potential jury pool in Harris County is over 2 million people.

State District Judge Kelli Johnson is expected to rule on the motion to change venue. Because of the large size of the jury pool, moving a case to another county for trial is practically unheard of over the past decade.

The Thompsons' attorneys have maintained that Hernandez initiated the fatal encounter by throwing the first punch.

Hernandez died from severe injuries, apparently from a chokehold, after the fight on May 28.

Terry and Chauna Thompson were both arrested and charged with Hernandez's death shortly after a video showing the married couple restraining him about 11:40 p.m. May 28 in the parking lot of a northwest Harris County Denny's.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Hearing continues for Texas ex-deputy, husband charged with murder in choking death
Hearing continues for Texas ex-deputy, husband charged with murder in choking death
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U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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