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Video surfaces of fatal beating in Denny's parking lot; deputy's husband accused

Fatal beating video
Fatal beating video 01:23

HOUSTON -- A new cellphone video has surfaced in the case of a Texas man allegedly beaten to death by the husband of a Harris County Sheriff's Deputy in a Denny's parking lot.

CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reports that the wife of beating victim Johnny Hernandez said her husband was drunk when the family stopped at a Houston Denny's May 28 after celebrating his beloved Chivas soccer team's victory. She insisted he have coffee, but surveillance cameras showed Hernandez walking outside with his wife trying to stop him. She said her husband urinated near their vehicle.

Another man, whose wife is a sheriff's deputy, was reportedly outside with his kids and confronted Hernandez about his behavior. A fight ensued.

The video shows a man the Houston Chronicle identifies as Hernandez being placed in a chokehold, allegedly by the deputy's husband. The man can be seen struggling on the ground.

Unidentified people approach the person filming and tell him to stop recording.

Johnny Hernandez, 24, was taken off life support on May 31, 2017.
Johnny Hernandez, 24, was taken off life support on May 31, 2017. Family via KHOU

Hernandez, 24, was taken to a hospital for his injuries. He was taken off life support days later.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the video was released by attorney Jack Carroll, who said he obtained it from the bystander who shot the video, who wishes to remain anonymous.

"An anonymous concerned citizen brought me the video because he said it shows murder," Carroll said, according to KHOU. "I concur." 

A woman in the video is also seen holding Hernandez's arm. Sheriff Ed Gonzales told reporters that the off-duty deputy arrived separately from her husband and that she called for assistance, helped restrain Hernandez, then administered CPR until emergency help arrived.

But an eyewitness who spoke with KHOU disputed that version of the events.

"Even after I told him 'stop, stop' and other people were screaming he wouldn't do it," the eyewitness said. "Even after his wife came he didn't do it. His wife didn't do anything, because I went in to call the police she was already there on the side and I didn't see her do anything, I didn't hear [her] tell him stop. I didn't hear her tell him anything.  She just was watching."

Call for justice for beaten man 01:34

The eyewitness tells KHOU that Hernandez was held in a chokehold by the deputy's husband for more than 10 minutes and was not breathing.

Carroll and Randall Kallinen, an attorney representing Hernandez's family, called for the arrest of the deputy's husband, according to the Chronicle. No charges have been filed.

Sheriff Ed Gonzales told reporters Friday that his department will conduct an investigation but has asked the Department of Justice and the Texas Rangers for help to ensure "transparency" and "another set of independent eyes."

The video reportedly been shared with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

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