A witness comes forward with information in the Jordan Neely case that could exonerate defendant Daniel Penny of the charges he now faces as a result of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution.
Daniel Penny is the Marine who placed Jordan Neely on the New York subway due to reports that the homeless man was threatening train passengers.
The 66-year-old woman, who did not want to be identified, told the New York Post on Thursday that she was grateful for what Penny had done to protect subway passengers.
“I hope he has a great lawyer, and I’m praying for him,” she said. “And I pray that they treat him fairly, I really do. Because after all of that, I went back and made sure to say ‘thank you.’
According to reports, Neely, who had a known history of mental illness, allegedly posed a threat to other passengers when he boarded an F train in Manhattan.
“He said, ‘I don’t care. I will take a bullet, I will go to jail because I would kill people on the train,” the woman said of Neely. “He said, ‘I’d kill a mother.’ I do not care. I’ll take a bullet. I’m going to jail.”
The retiree testified that initially, Penny refrained from engaging with Neely during his disruptive outburst. However, as the situation escalated and became out of control, Penny felt compelled to intervene.
“This gentleman, Mr. Penny, did not rise,” said the rider. “He didn’t engage with the gentleman. He didn’t say a word. It was all Mr. Neely that . . . threatened the passengers. If he didn’t get what he wants.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has confirmed that Penny will face charges of second-degree manslaughter. If convicted of the manslaughter charge, the Marine could face up to 15 years in prison.
In a statement issued Thursday, Penny’s legal team expressed confidence that once all the facts are presented, Penny will be cleared of any wrongdoing. They maintained that he acted in self-defense and in the interest of protecting himself and the other passengers involved.
Attorneys representing the family of fatal choking victim Jordan Neely criticized Manhattan prosecutors for charging Penny with involuntary manslaughter, saying his actions were intentional and demanding a first-degree murder charge.
During a press conference held outside 225 West 34th St. in Midtown Manhattan, Donte Mills and Lennon Edwards voiced their concerns shortly after Penny turned herself in to police. Neely’s father, Andre Zachary, and his aunt, Mildred Mahazu, were present but did not speak at the event.
Mills and Edwards acknowledged Penny’s arrest, but emphasized that it did not live up to their expectations. They acknowledged that justice would be a long and challenging journey, and stressed that their pursuit of justice would not stop until they achieved a complete resolution.
Edwards declared, “Today we will not stop until we have full justice. We will pause to recognize that we have taken the first step, a step in the right direction.”
According to Edwards, “justice looks like a conviction and justice looks like a conviction for murder.”
Outside the 5th District in Lower Manhattan, Penny’s attorney, Thomas Kenniff, said his client had voluntarily surrendered with the same dignity and integrity that defined his history of service.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who Neely’s family asked to deliver the eulogy at her upcoming funeral, expressed approval of Penny’s arrest.
“The charges against this young man who thought he was above the law are just the first step in justice for Jordan Neely,” the veteran civil rights leader said in a statement. “The video of him grabbing Jordan and strangling him to death is disturbing and should be viewed as such by any jury.”
“The justice system needs to send a clear and loud message that vigilantism has never been acceptable,” Sharpton added. “Being homeless or black or having a mental health episode shouldn’t be a death sentence.”
Haunting video footage depicted Penny, a former Marine from Queens, stepping in to contain Neely and ultimately using him. As a result of the suffocation, Neely, 30, lost consciousness and later died at the hospital.
Sources have indicated that Neely struggled with mental health issues and racked up more than 40 arrests on his criminal record.
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