Ex-Marine Daniel Penny Charged With Manslaughter In NYC Subway Chokehold Death Of Homeless Jordan Neely
Daniel Penny, a U.S. Marine veteran who held Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold on the New York City subway earlier this month, turned himself into New York City police on Friday to face a second-degree manslaughter charge.
In a statement on Thursday, Penny’s attorney said that Penny “risked his own life and safety, for the good of his fellow passengers. The unfortunate result was the unintended and unforeseen death of Mr. Neely.”
Penny’s attorneys also said that Neely “had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior” as a “result of ongoing and untreated mental illness.”
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According to police, Neely had been arrested previously for several incidents on the subway.
Neely was a street artist who became known for his Michael Jackson impersonations. He experienced mental health issues since 2007 when his mother was murdered. In recent years, Neely fell on hard times, according to a relative.
Neely was homeless at the time of his death. Some witnesses told police he was shouting that he was hungry and thirsty on the subway. Police sources said that Penny was not threatened by Neely, who was not violent towards anyone.
Penny’s lawyers stated that Penny didn’t intend to harm Neely and “could not have foreseen his untimely death.”
In the video of the incident, Penny could be seen holding Neely in a chokehold for about three minutes.
The Neely family’s attorneys found fault with the statement, noting that Penny didn’t know Neely’s mental health history before restraining him in the chokehold. They also said that Penny’s statement was not an apology and was instead a “clear example” of why he believed he was “entitled” to take Neely’s life.
An arraignment is expected on Friday afternoon, and a grand jury will hear the evidence the following week. The maximum penalty for second-degree manslaughter is 15 years in prison.
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