Hearne: Man Pleads No Contest In 5-Year-Old Murder Case

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email

HEARNE (January 29, 2014) Five years after a Bryan man was beaten to death in a Hearne hotel room a Robertson County man has pleaded no contest in connection with the murder.

Trae Deandra Thompson, 28, pleaded no contest to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to 15 months in jail in connection with the beating death of Hank Johnson, 27.

On July 10, 2008, Johnson was severely beaten while in his hotel room, his guitars were taken and 11 days later he died from his injuries.

Thompson was indicted for Johnson's death in May 2013 while he was serving time in the Texas prison system for a 2008 assault on a public servant charge.

Coty Siegert, Robertson County District Attorney, declined to provide details of the plea agreement, but did say the fact that Thompson had the stolen guitars in his possession made him a solid suspect in Johnson's death.

It marks the second time Thompson has been found responsible for Johnson's death.

In February 2012 a federal district court jury in Waco found against Thompson in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in the case.

The same jury awarded Johnson's family $8.6 million in damages.

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