Watch CBS News

Daniel Penny to be charged with manslaughter Friday in Jordan Neely's chokehold death

Daniel Penny to face manslaughter charges in Jordan Neely's death
Daniel Penny to face manslaughter charges in Jordan Neely's death 02:33

NEW YORK -- Daniel Penny will be arrested in Jordan Neely's chokehold death Friday, the Manhattan district attorney's office said.

Penny will face a charge of manslaughter in the second degree.

Sources tell CBS2 that Penny is expected to surrender to police Friday morning. He'll then be arraigned at Manhattan Criminal Court, and the court will determine whether or not to set bail.

If found guilty, Penny could face up to 15 years in prison.

Ten days after Neely died and more than a dozen protests later, the Manhattan district attorney announced Thursday second degree manslaughter charges for Penny, the 24-year-old Marine veteran seen holding Neely in a chokehold on the subway for nearly three minutes on May 1.

Penny was questioned by police and released without being charged. 

The medical examiner's office later ruled Neely's death a homicide.

"Accountability is key to make changes," said Milton Perez, with Vocal New York.

"We want to see this man prosecuted," said Tanesha Grant, with Parents Supporting Parents New York.

Watch Jennifer Bisram's report

Daniel Penny to be charged with manslaughter in Jordan Neely's death 02:21

"I'm very glad to hear that. I think it should have happened sooner, but I'm glad to know that there will be some accountability," New York City Council member Crystal Hudson said.

Neely was a 30-year-old subway performer who witnesses told police had been acting erratically on an F train and begging for food before Penny intervened.

"Second-degree manslaughter is when someone recklessly causes the death of another," said New York law school professor Anna Cominsky.

"What does that say to you or not say to you about how the DA's office is viewing this case?" CBS2's Ali Bauman asked.

"Well, I would say it certainly tells us that they're taking this seriously and that they've determined that there was conduct that was engaged in by Mr. Penny where he had knowledge of the conduct that he was engaging in, that he understood that putting a chokehold on someone created the circumstances under which there was a substantial and unjustifiable risk of death. So that's very different from saying it was an accident," Cominsky said.

An attorney for Penny released the following statement Thursday:

"When Mr. Penny, a decorated Marine veteran, stepped in to protect himself and his fellow New Yorkers, his well-being was not assured. He risked his own life and safety, for the good of his fellow passengers. The unfortunate result was the unintended and unforeseen death of Mr. Neely. We are confident that once all the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic incident are brought to bear, Mr. Penny will be fully absolved of any wrongdoing."

Homeless advocates call Penny's arrest the first step on a long road.

"I definitely think it's one part of something that needs to happen, but I don't think that just incarcerating one person is going to take care of the issues that we need to, which are a lot bigger in dealing with homelessness and mental health and housing," one person said.

While Mayor Eric Adams never called for charges against Penny, he did admit the city failed Neely.

"We need to make sure we prevent these things from happening," he said.

It's interesting to note this charge is coming before a grand jury decision to indict.

Neely's family attorney declined to comment but is expected to speak to the media on Friday.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.