Daniel Penny, the 24-year-old U.S. Marine veteran facing a New York City manslaughter charge in the chokehold death of Jordan Neely, pleaded not guilty at his Manhattan arraignment Wednesday morning.
The arraignment took about five minutes, with Penny wearing a navy blue suit and pleading not guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
He was granted the same $100,000 bail conditions that previously led to his release from custody.
Neely was a 30-year-old homeless man with a lengthy criminal record involving assaults on subway riders and history of mental illness.
Daniel Penny faces charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide and up to 19 years in prison if convicted on both counts. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
“Daniel Penny stands indicted for Manslaughter after allegedly putting Jordan Neely in a deadly chokehold for several minutes until and after he stopped moving,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement. “I hope Mr. Neely’s loved ones are on the path towards healing as they continue to mourn this tragic loss.”
Read the indictment (Mobile users go here)
Critics of the decision to prosecute Penny have called the move political and believe that the veteran acted in self-defense or to protect other passengers.
“If [Neely] had carried out his threats, he would have killed somebody,” Penny told Fox News Digital in June.
His antics left other passengers uncomfortable, and Penny intervened.
This undated photo, provided by Mills and Edwards, LLP, in New York, on May 12, 2023, shows Jordan Neely, left, with Carolyn Neely, an aunt. (Courtesy Mills & Edwards, LLP via AP)
“I was scared,” he said in the June interview. “I looked around, and I saw older women and children, and they were terrified.”
City authorities knew he suffered from mental illness, according to the New York Post, which shares common ownership with Fox News Digital, and at times came off as suicidal.
Fox News’ Rebecca Rosenberg and The Associated Press contributed to this report.