Daniel Penny Pleads Not Guilty in Jordan Neely Chokehold Death Case

Daniel Penny was charged on Wednesday in connection with the death of Jordan Neely, who died due to a chokehold incident on the subway. He is facing charges of criminally negligent homicide and second-degree manslaughter.

During his arraignment at the State Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan, Penny pleaded not guilty.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg stated, “Daniel Penny has been indicted for manslaughter after allegedly applying a fatal chokehold on Jordan Neely for several minutes, even after he ceased to move. While the Neely family continues to grieve this tragic loss, I hope they find solace on the path to healing.”

Dante Mills, the attorney representing the Neely family, remarked, “Don’t be surprised or shocked when justice is served from now on.”

Penny, a 24-year-old Marine veteran, was arrested last month for second-degree manslaughter and was released on bond. The incident, where Penny held Neely in a chokehold on an F train in SoHo on May 1, was captured on video. His arrest came 11 days after the fatal encounter, following public protests.

In response to the growing demand for Penny to be held accountable, some individuals rallied to support him, raising $3 million to cover his legal expenses.

“We are all witnesses here. No amount of money or pre-incident interviews can erase the need for justice,” stated Lennon Edwards, an attorney representing the Neely family.

Neely, a 30-year-old subway performer who had experienced homelessness and had a history of mental illness, was the victim in this case.

Penny claimed to investigators that Neely was behaving erratically and threatening other passengers on the train. His lawyers argue that Penny acted in self-defense and did not intend to cause Neely’s death.

“Our client acted reasonably under the circumstances, and all the evidence supports that he was justified in his actions,” stated attorney Steven Raiser. “On May 1, 2023, Daniel Penny defended his fellow passengers. Now, it’s our turn to defend Danny.”

Raiser added, “Daniel won’t be the only one on trial. The right and duty to protect one another will also be on trial. Our legal team is fully prepared to fight for Danny and for every New Yorker’s right to self-defense in the face of great harm.”

Regarding Penny’s current state of mind, attorney Thomas Kenniff commented, “Daniel is a brave individual who is focused on his education. He is doing what he needs to do and staying close to his family. This is an incredibly challenging time for Danny.”

If convicted on both charges, Penny could face a maximum sentence of 19 years in prison.

Penny will remain out on bond, subject to the same conditions as his initial charge. He has surrendered his passport and is not allowed to leave the state without notifying authorities.

Penny’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 25, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

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