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Daniel Penny Pleads Not Guilty To Charges Over Jordan Neely’s Death

  Marine veteran Daniel Penny pled not guilty to manslaughter and negligent homicide charges on Wednesday after being accused of killing Jor...

 Marine veteran Daniel Penny pled not guilty to manslaughter and negligent homicide charges on Wednesday after being accused of killing Jordan Neely on a New York City subway train last month. 

On May 1, Penny placed Neely in a chokehold on the floor of a Manhattan subway car to subdue him alongside other passengers after witnesses said Neely was making threatening comments towards passengers on board the vehicle. 

Penny pled not guilty to second-degree manslaughter and negligent homicide before being freed on $100,000 bail. “We are a long way off from trial, but all the evidence we’ve seen is that our client acted under the law,” said Thomas Keniff, a lawyer for Penny. 

Neely, a homeless man with more than 40 arrests, had a known history of mental issues before he died. The New York Daily News reported that Neely was most recently arrested in November 2021 on felony assault charges after being accused of “slugging a 67-year-old female stranger in the face.” After pleading guilty to the latter charge, Neely failed to appear for court, leading to a warrant being active for his arrest at the time of his death, per USA Today

“Daniel Penny did not have the courage to look Mr. Jordan’s father in the eye,” said Dante Mills, a lawyer for the Neely family. 

Penny was indicted on June 14 after New York officials promised to investigate the incident. The indictment was praised by attorneys for Neely’s family.

“The grand jury’s decision tells our city and our nation that ‘no one is above the law’ no matter how much money they raise, no matter what affiliations they claim, and no matter what distorted stories they tell in interviews,” Neely’s family lawyers said.


Penny’s defense team has consistently maintained his innocence, saying the evidence is in their favor. 

“While we respect the decision of the grand jury to move this case forward to trial, it should be noted that the standard of proof in a grand jury is very low and there has been no finding of wrongdoing. We’re confident that when a trial jury is tasked with weighing the evidence, they will find Daniel Penny’s actions on that train were fully justified,” lawyer Steven Raiser said. 

Penny spoke out after the incident, saying Neely’s skin color was not a factor. 

“This had nothing to do with race,” he said. “I judge a person based on their character. I’m not a white supremacist. I mean, it’s, it’s a little bit comical. Everybody who’s ever met me can tell you, I love all people, I love all cultures.”

Penny is scheduled to appear in court next on October 25.

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