(NEW YORK) — Marine veteran Daniel Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide Wednesday in connection with the chokehold death of Jordan Neely aboard a subway train.
Penny pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on $100,000 bail. His next court appearance is Oct. 25.
He was indicted by a grand jury on June 14.
Video showed Penny, 24, putting Neely in a chokehold on May 1. Several witnesses observed Neely making threats, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass told the judge during Penny’s initial appearance in court on May 12.
Some witnesses told police that Neely was yelling and harassing passengers on the train, authorities said.
Police sources told ABC News that Penny was not specifically being threatened by Neely when he intervened and that Neely had not become violent and had not been threatening anyone in particular.
Neely was homeless at the time of the incident.
“While we respect the decision of the grand jury to move this case forward to trial, it should be noted that the standard of proof in a grand jury is very low and there has been no finding of wrongdoing. We’re confident that when a trial jury is tasked with weighing the evidence, they will find Daniel Penny’s actions on that train were fully justified,” said Penny’s attorney Steven Raiser in a statement following the indictment.
Attorneys for Neely’s family applauded Penny’s indictment.
“The grand jury’s decision tells our city and our nation that ‘no one is above the law’ no matter how much money they raise, no matter what affiliations they claim, and no matter what distorted stories they tell in interviews,” the attorneys said in a statement.
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