Marine Vet: ‘I Am Not Guilty’

( – Former US Marine Daniel Penny has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in a trial over the New York City subway death of Jordan Neely.

Penny, a 24-year-old white male, has been charged with “second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide” after, on May 1, he applied a chokehold to Neely, a black man behaving erratically and hurling threats.

Two other passengers helped the former Marine restrain Neely after the latter, a 30-year-old Michael Jackson impersonator with a criminal record and mental illness history, was begging for money and shouting on the subway.

Penny held Neely in a chokehold for about three minutes, after which the latter lost consciousness and couldn’t be revived by medics.

The Marine vet was indicted by a grand jury earlier in June and was in court for a second arraignment in a NYC court on Wednesday. Penny remains free on bond.

In a video released by his defense earlier, he declared he acted to protect others and himself as Neely yelled, “I’m gonna’ kill you,” and that he was “ready to die” or serve life in prison.

“He was yelling in their faces saying these threats. I just couldn’t sit still,” Penny said.

He served in the US Marine Corps until his discharge in 2021.

After the NYC subway incident, Penny was detained and questioned but let go without charges.

However, ten days later, the office of Manhattan’s Democrat District Attorney Alvin Bragg said the Marine veteran would face a second-degree manslaughter charge.

After he didn’t enter a plea, Penny was released on a $100,000 bond.

“What happened to Jordan was a crime and this family shouldn’t have to stand by themselves,” leftist activist Rev. Al Sharpton declared at Neely’s funeral on May 19.

“The fatal incident was caught on video, which prompted outrage because it showed Penny continuing to keep Neely in the chokehold after he had passed out. The incident also sparked larger conversations about race and how people with mental illnesses should be treated,” The Hill writes in a commentary.

Newsmax notes some have compared Daniel Penny’s actions to those of Bernhard Goetz, a white man called the “subway vigilante” who shot four black men during a 1984 subway attack and was eventually acquitted of most charges.