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Daniel Penny pleads not guilty in subway chokehold death of Jordan Neely; bail set at $100K

He is charged with second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

June 28, 2023, 5:05 AM

Marine veteran Daniel Penny's comments to police following the fatal chokehold of Jordan Neely in a New York City subway have been released in new documents.

"He came on and he threw s---, he’s like 'I don’t give a s---, I’m going to go to prison for life' and stuff, so I just came up behind him and put him in a chokehold. He was threatening everybody," a court filing accompanying Penny's indictment quoted him telling officers on May 1.

“We just went to the ground. He was trying to roll up, I had him pretty good. I was in the Marine Corps," he told officers.

Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide Wednesday in connection with the May 1 chokehold death of Neely aboard a New York City subway train.

PHOTO: Daniel Penny, center, is walked out of the New York Police Department 5th Precinct in Lower Manhattan, May 12, 2023, after he surrendered to authorities after being charged with 2nd Degree Manslaughter in the chokehold death of Jordan Neely.
Daniel Penny, center, is walked out of the New York Police Department 5th Precinct in Lower Manhattan, May 12, 2023, on his way to a arraignment after he surrendered to authorities after being charged with 2nd Degree Manslaughter in the chokehold death of Jordan Neely.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

“Daniel Penny stands indicted for manslaughter after allegedly putting Jordan Neely in a deadly chokehold for several minutes until and after he stopped moving. I hope Mr. Neely’s loved ones are on the path towards healing as they continue to mourn this tragic loss,” said District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Penny, 24, pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on $100,000 bail. His next court appearance is October 25.

Penny was indicted by a grand jury on June 14.

According to court documents and statements, Neely entered the train at the 2nd Avenue station and began making verbal threats to passengers. Less than a minute later, Penny put Neely in a chokehold, which lasted for several minutes.

Police sources told ABC News that Penny was not specifically being threatened by Neely when he intervened and that Neely had not become violent and had not been threatening anyone in particular.

PHOTO: Jordan Neely is pictured before going to see the Michael Jackson movie, 'This is It' outside the Regal Cinemas on 8th Ave. and 42nd St. in Times Square, New York, in 2009.
Jordan Neely is pictured before going to see the Michael Jackson movie, 'This is It' outside the Regal Cinemas on 8th Ave. and 42nd St. in Times Square, New York, in 2009.
New York Daily News/TNS/Getty Images, FILE

Neely was homeless at the time of the incident.

Members of Neely’s family sat in the second row during Penny's court appearance. Penny’s relatives sat in the row behind them.

Outside court, defense attorneys spoke confidently about Penny’s ability to be found not guilty.

“We are a long way off from trial, but all the evidence we’ve seen is that our client acted under the law,” defense attorney Thomas Keniff said.

Neely’s family and supporters denounced Penny and expressed their hope for justice.

“Daniel Penny did not have the courage to look Mr. Jordan’s father in the eye,” said attorney Dante Mills, who is representing the Neely family.

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