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Daniel Penny released on $100,000 bail after arrest on manslaughter charge in Jordan Neely's death

Jordan Neely's family not satisfied with charges against Daniel Penny
Jordan Neely's family not satisfied with charges against Daniel Penny 02:25

NEW YORK -- Daniel Penny, the man seen on video putting Jordan Neely in a chokehold on the subway, turned himself in Friday morning and appeared before a judge. 

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office charged Penny, a 24-year-old Marine veteran, with second degree manslaughter in Neely's death. 

Just after 8 a.m., Penny and his attorney Thomas Kenniff arrived at the 5th Precinct in Lower Manhattan. Penny appeared somber and did not speak to reporters. 

"Shortly after 8 a.m., Daniel Penny surrendered at the 5th Precinct at the request of the New York County district attorney's office. He did so voluntarily and with the sort of dignity and integrity that is characteristic of his history of service to this grateful nation. The case will now go to court," Kenniff said. 

Watch Jennifer Bisram's report

Daniel Penny out on bond after being charged in Jordan Neely's death 03:34

After Penny surrendered, police brought him to Manhattan Criminal Court for his afternoon arraignment, where he waived the reading of his charges and was not required to enter a plea.

"Why didn't he enter a plea? It's because the grand jury hasn't yet indicted him. The people, the prosecutor planned to bring this before a grand jury," attorney and legal expert Andrew Lieb said.

Prosecutors alleged of the incident, "Several witnesses observed Mr. Neely making threats and scaring passengers, the defendant approached Mr. Neely from behind and placed him in a chokehold, taking him down to the ground." They said Penny continued for several minutes including after Neely stopped moving.

During the arraignment, Penny's attorneys told the judge Penny has been cooperating with police and the district attorney's office, he has strong ties to New York City, he's attending a four-year college in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in architecture, and he enlisted in the Marine Corps when he was teenager, spending four years there before being honorably discharged. Attorneys added while serving, Penny earned multiple medals and ribbons for good conduct while serving.

Daniel Penny's attorney speaks out 02:39

Penny was released on $100,000 cash bail and ordered to turn over his passport. He is also not allowed to leave the state. 

Penny's next court appearance is set for July 17.

At a news conference, attorneys for Neely's family said they thought Penny should be charged with second-degree murder. Neely's father and aunt stood by in silence, too distraught to speak.

"The consequences to manslaughter two is five to 15 years. Ask yourself, is that enough? Is that enough for someone who choked somebody out on the train and took their life? Five to 15 years. Murder two, up to 25 to life, so we need a full cup of justice here," attorney Lennon Edwards said.

"Mr. Neely did not attack anyone, he did not touch anyone, he did not hit anyone, but he was choked to death, and that can't stand," attorney Donte Mills said.

The attorneys described how Neely's mental health declined after his mother was choked to death when he was a child.

Despite intermittent treatment, a lack of resources left Neely homeless and begging for food when he died.

"For everybody saying, 'I've been on the train and I've been afraid before and I can't tell you what I would've done in that situation,' I'm gonna tell you -- ask how you can help. Please," Mills said.

Jordan Neely family attorney hold news conference 30:16

Penny is seen on video restraining Neely with a chokehold on an F train on May 1. Neely later died, and his death was ruled a homicide.

Witnesses told police Neely, a 30-year-old subway performer who was homeless, was begging for food and acting erratically on the train before Penny intervened.

Penny was initially questioned by police and released the same day Neely died. We've now learned the Civilian Complaint Review Board is investigating the NYPD's decision not to arrest him then.

In the days since, Neely supporters have been taking over streets and subway platforms, calling for an arrest and more to be done for New Yorkers struggling with mental health.

"We know it's second-degree manslaughter that the people, the prosecutors want, but the grand jury is really going to have to agree or disagree with that," Lieb said.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office announced the charge without an expected grand jury decision, released the following statement after Penny's arraignment:

After an evaluation of the available facts and evidence, the Manhattan D.A.'s Office determined there was probable cause to arrest Daniel Penny and arraign him on felony charges. The investigation thus far has included numerous witness interviews, careful review of photo and video footage, and discussions with the Medical Examiner's Office. As this case proceeds, we will be constrained from speaking outside the courtroom to ensure this remains a fair and impartial matter. Jordan Neely should still be alive today, and my thoughts continue to be with his family and loved ones as they mourn his loss during this extremely painful time.

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

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