Ex-Marine Daniel Penny Set To Stand Trial In October Regarding Death Of Jordan Neely

US-JUSTICE-TRANSPORT-SOCIAL US Marine veteran Daniel Penny (C) 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. The death of Jordan Neely -- widely identified as a Michael Jackson impersonator who often performed on the train -- earlier this month sparked outrage. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
2:20 PM – Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Former U.S. Marine Daniel Penny is set to stand trial in October for taking the life of a homeless man in a New York City subway. Penny maintains that he was fearful that the man would hurt nearby onlookers after he had made numerous violent threats.


On Wednesday, Judge Max Wiley determined that Penny will begin trial on October 8th and that it will take between four and six weeks. 

Penny has previously pleaded not guilty to the charges of second-degree manslaughter and a criminally negligent homicide in connection with the now-deceased homeless man, Jordan Neely.

Prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office claimed that Penny put Neely in a fatal chokehold “that lasted approximately six minutes and continued well past the point at which Neely had stopped purposeful movement.” 

However, Penny’s attorneys claimed that Neely was “insanely threatening.”

An attorney for Neely’s family, Lennon Edwards, expressed that the family is holding out hope for justice.

“Andre Zachary and Jordan Neely’s family are still suffering,” Edwards said. “Justice has not been served yet, but we’re holding onto hope that justice will be done.”

Edwards called Penny a “judge, jury, and executioner” in the subway system.

“Jordan was unarmed. He was hungry. He asked for food. And in his desperation, he was emotional, but distressed does not mean dangerous,” Edwards stated.

In a previous statement, Steven Raiser and Thomas Kenniff, Penny’s lawyers, said that they were also confident that a jury will deliver a just verdict. According to the lawyers, when he put Neely in the chokehold that ultimately led to his death, he was defending both himself and other people around them.

Neely was reportedly “yelling and harassing passengers” on the subway, according to numerous witnesses who reported the incident to the police.

“Neely had an extensive criminal record, including 42 arrests on charges [such as] petty larceny, jumping subway turnstiles, theft, and three unprovoked assaults on women in the subway between 2019 and 2021,” according to a report.

In one of the assaults, “[victim] Anne Mitcheltree said she was randomly punched in the head in June 2021 by Neely inside S.K. Deli Market on 2nd Avenue in the East Village. The attack caused swelling and substantial pain,” according to the New York Post.

However, prior to Penny’s intervention, other sources told ABC News that Neely had “not turned violent or been threatening anyone in particular” on the subway, nor had he been specifically threatening Penny. 

Medical examiners determined that Neely was on the drug “K2” when he died. “K2 and Spice are just two of the many trade names or brands for synthetic designer drugs that are intended to mimic THC, the main psychoactive,” according to the DEA.

A hearing to suppress statements Penny made to investigators before his arrest has been set for September 17th.

In January, Penny’s request to have his involuntary manslaughter case dismissed by a judge was denied.

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