Daniel Penny, an ex-Marine, is facing charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the death of Jordan Neely, a homeless individual with a history of mental illness.
A Manhattan grand jury indicted Penny for Neely’s death, which occurred during a subway altercation that was captured on video and sparked widespread outrage.
The altercation occurred on a Manhattan subway last month, where Penny, 24, is said to have used a grappling technique, known as a rear naked choke, on Neely, who was reported to have been acting erratically and making threats to subway riders.
The medical examiner’s report ruled Neely’s death a homicide, citing “compression of the neck” as the cause.
Penny turned himself in to authorities on May 12th, nearly two weeks after the incident occurred. He is currently out on $100,000 bail.
If found guilty, Penny could serve up to 15 years in state prison for the manslaughter charge and an additional four years for the homicide charge.
Penny’s defense attorneys, Raiser & Kenniff, plan to mount a vigorous defense and maintain their belief that his actions on the subway were “justified.” They argue that he acted in self-defense during the encounter.
Eyewitness accounts suggest that Neely, who had a long history of mental illness, was yelling, screaming, and threatening other passengers on the train.
Neely had a history of prior arrests, including a recent guilty plea for assaulting a 67-year-old woman in 2021 as she exited a subway station. At the time of his death, there was an active arrest warrant for Neely due to his failure to appear in court for that particular case.
Penny shared his perspective on the encounter in a series of videos, stating that he did not intend to kill Neely but believed he could not remain passive while other passengers were threatened.
In the aftermath of the incident, a fundraising campaign was launched for Penny’s legal costs, collecting over $2.8 million so far.
Neely’s family has called for murder charges to be filed against Penny following his death. They hold the failing mental health care system and inadequate attention from authorities as responsible for his demise while Penny’s family, guided by legal counsel, have refrained from further commenting.
No date has been set yet for Penny’s arraignment at the time of reporting.