Former US marine who killed man in subway chokehold to be charged
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Juan Vazquez
The former US marine who killed a man in a chokehold on the subway has been charged.
Daniel Penny, a 24-year-old US Marine Corps veteran, killed Jordan Neely, 30, on a northbound F train at the Broadway-Lafayette Street/Bleeker Street station last Monday (1 May).
Manhattan prosecutors have since confirmed yesterday (11 May) that Penny will be facing criminal charges for using the fatal chokehold on the passenger.
Police reported that Neely was on the New York subway carriage when passengers noticed him starting to behave erratically.
Eyewitness testimony claims he had been screaming and begging for money on the subway train but had not actually physically attacked anyone at this point.
According to the reports, Neely was allegedly making threats and harassing passengers, at which point Penny decided to intervene.
The encounter soon became physical as the ex-marine put Neely in a chokehold lasting several minutes which eventually caused him to lose consciousness.
Neely, who was also a talented Michael Jackson impersonator, was subsequently rushed to Lenox Hill Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
After an investigation carried out by a medical examiner, it was determined that Neely's cause of death was a homicide as a result of the compression on his neck.
Penny was later questioned by police in the following hours after Neely's death but was released without charges.
However, on Thursday, some 10 days after the tragic incident, prosecutors revealed Penny will be arrested and face a charge of second degree manslaughter.
Such a charge could carry a jail term of up to 15 years.
"We cannot provide any additional information until he has been arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court, which we expect to take place tomorrow," the Manhattan district attorney’s office explained in a statement.
Penny told authorities he was not trying to kill Neely but was instead attempting to subdue him before police arrived.
The former marine has previously addressed the events in a statement released by his lawyers, claiming he was acting in self-defense.
It read: "Mr. Neely had a documented history of violent and erratic behavior, the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness.
"When Mr. Neely began aggressively threatening Daniel Penny and the other passengers, Daniel, with the help of others, acted to protect themselves, until help arrived."
The statement continued: "Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death.
"We hope that out of this awful tragedy will come a new commitment by our elected officials to address the mental health crisis on our streets and subways."
Neely's family later responded to Penny's statement, hitting back at the former marine and his legal team.
A statement released from the attorneys representing Neely's family, Donte Mills and Lennon Edwards, reads: "Daniel Penny’s press release is not an apology nor an expression of regret.
"It is a character assassination and a clear example of why he believed he was entitled to take Jordan's life."
It continued: "The truth is he knew nothing about Jordan's history when he intentionally wrapped his arms around Jordan’s neck, and squeezed and kept squeezing.
"He never attempted to help him at all. In short, his actions on the train, and now his words, show why he needs to be in prison."