Judge Rejects Motion To Dismiss Daniel Penny’s Charges

A case involving U.S. Marine veteran Daniel Penny attracted nationwide attention last year as media pundits and ordinary Americans alike debated whether his actions on a New York City subway car were justified.

In a scene captured on video, Penny could be seen apparently holding a man later identified as Jordan Neely in a headlock. Neely was pronounced dead a short time later.

While prosecutors opted to seek criminal charges against him, Penny publicly defended his actions, insisting that Neely had been acting in a threatening manner toward him and others aboard the train.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide and his defense team pushed to have the charges dismissed. This week, however, a judge denied that motion and ordered Penny to appear in court again in March with a trial expected to commence later in the year.

Defense attorneys Steven Raiser and Thomas Kenniff issued a joint statement expressing their objection to the ruling.

“While we disagree with the Court’s decision not to dismiss the indictment, we understand that the legal threshold to continue even an ill-conceived prosecution is very low,” they wrote. “We are confident that a jury, aware of Danny’s actions in putting aside his own safety to protect the lives of his fellow riders, will deliver a just verdict. Danny is grateful for the continued prayers and support through this difficult process.”

Penny has spoken out multiple times since the incident in an effort to depict the situation in which he said he felt compelled to act.

“The main threats that he repeated over and over were, ‘I’m going to kill you,’ ‘I’m prepared to go to jail for life’ and ‘I’m willing to die,’” he said in reference to Neely’s behavior.

He went on to insist that he had no intention to cause Neely’s death and emphatically rejected reports that he held the homeless man for 15 minutes.

“This is not true,” he asserted. “The whole interaction was less than five minutes. People say I was trying to choke him to death, which is also not true. I was trying to restrain him.”

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