A New York City judge on Wednesday rejected former Marine Daniel Penny’s motion to have his charges dismissed in the infamous chokehold incident on a city subway last May.
Penny subdued a mentally ill homeless man, Jordan Neely, who reportedly was threatening passengers. The 24-year-old pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
NBC 4 reported that Penny was ordered back to court in March and is expected to stand trial this fall.
In his motion to dismiss, Penny said the situation he encountered on the subway was “insanely threatening.” He previously declared he took action simply to protect his fellow passengers from a menacing individual.
Penny recalled that Neely repeated three phrases over and over. “I’m going to kill you,” “I’m prepared to go to jail for life” and “I’m willing to die.”
The ex-Marine said he feared for his own safety as well as that of women and children on the train. He said he “couldn’t just sit still” and had to act in their defense.
DENIED: Judge rejects motion to dismiss charges against NYC subway hero, Daniel Penny, in restraint death of Jordan Neely, a violent career criminal. https://t.co/Ns2H8OzRIU
— Blue Lives Matter 💎 (@RetiredNYCPD) January 17, 2024
Penny has repeatedly asserted that he did not intend for Neely to die. His defenders raised substantial funds for his defense and believe he acted as a Good Samaritan.
The New York Post reported that protesters attempted to swarm the defendant outside the courtroom. They carried signs and, according to the outlet, referred to Penny as a “cracker.”
One man held a megaphone and screamed as Penny exited his vehicle. “Daniel Penny is a murderer! He’s a murderer! You a murderer! There’s a murderer in this car! He choked out a New Yorker!”
The Neely family attorney celebrated the judge’s decision. Donte Mills called it a “big win” while addressing the media after the announcement.
Mills noted that the grand jury said Penny should be tried in Neely’s death. “We’re coming back here in March, and our expectation is that Daniel Penny is going to be found guilty for killing Mr. Jordan.”
The defendant is free on $100,000 bail. If convicted, he faces up to 19 years in prison.