Defense Moves to Dismiss Case Against Former Marine Accused In New York City Subway Killing

Defense Moves to Dismiss Case Against Former Marine Accused In New York City Subway Killing

On Oct. 6, The legal team representing Daniel Penny, a former Marine accused of the subway killing of a homeless street artist in New York City, took a significant step by filing a motion to dismiss the charges based on eyewitness testimonies, as reported by CNN.

The incident unfolded in May 2023 when Penny, a former Marine, restrained Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old man, in a chokehold after Neely entered a subway car and began berating other passengers. Tragically, Neely died soon afterward, and the medical examiner’s office classified his death as a homicide.

According to CNN, Penny’s defense team leaned heavily on eyewitness accounts during the subway altercation. One of the witnesses, who chose to remain anonymous, described the scene as “absolutely traumatizing” and claimed they believed they were in imminent danger of losing their life. This witness, who had been riding the New York subway for six years, recounted their harrowing experience, which became a focal point in the court documents.

Another witness, a mother traveling with her child, testified to her fear for her son’s safety. She detailed how she shielded herself and her child behind a stroller as they attempted to distance themselves from Neely, who was displaying aggressive behavior with “half-lunge movements” and coming dangerously close to other passengers. The outlet reports these witness statements were submitted as compelling evidence in the defense’s bid to drop the charges against Penny.

It’s worth noting that despite the testimonies presented to the grand jury, an indictment was handed down in June charging Penny with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Throughout the legal proceedings, Penny consistently maintained that he had been compelled to use the chokehold on Neely because Neely displayed irate behavior that needed to be restrained.

The incident between Neely, a Black man, and Penny, who is white, gained significant public attention, due in part to a video recording of the confrontation. It led to widespread protests and demonstrations across New York City, sparking conversations about excessive use of force in the subway killing and issues related to racial disparity.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office refrained from commenting on the defense’s recent motion to dismiss the case. Nevertheless, CNN reports they have confirmed their intention to file a response to the motion in court papers soon. Penny’s upcoming court appearance is scheduled for early December.