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A Marine strangled a rowdy in the subway: witnesses told how scared they were

'13.10.2023'

Olga Derkach

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Passengers on the subway when homeless man Jordan Neely launched into a manic tirade have described his words as "insanely threatening." They said they hid and prayed until former Marine Daniel Penney intervened and applied a chokehold. Penny's lawyers demand the dismissal of the scandalous criminal case, writes New York Post.

Lawyers for Penny, the young former Marine accused of killing Neely during a May 1 melee on a Manhattan train, wrote in their motion that the medical expert who testified for the jury did not provide any evidence that Neely died of asphyxiation as a result of the chokehold. reception.

“The fact that the expert did not testify that he actually died of asphyxiation can only be explained by the lack of evidence to support such a conclusion,” Penney’s lawyers wrote.

In the 52-page motion, they relied on testimony from several witnesses to try to portray Neely, 30, as a real threat to others, rather than just a screaming homeless man.

“As the car doors were closing, an angry Jordan Neeley entered the subway car and immediately made his presence known,” the motion states, adding that Neeley, who has long-standing mental health issues, threw his jacket around the car while complaining about a lack of money and food.

One witness testified that Neely's words were "insanely threatening" and he said them with a "sickening and satanic" slant. Among them were ravings about how “someone is going to die today” and how he was “ready to go to Rikers” (a prison island in New York).

On the subject: A huge robot will patrol the New York subway: where can you find it?

The witness, the motion says, “believed he was going to die when Neely began to approach him.”

He, the lawyers noted, described the moment as “absolutely traumatic, beyond anything he had ever experienced in six years of subway travel.”

According to another witness who was with her young son, Neely said he wanted to hurt people.

“I want to go to Rikers, I want to go to prison,” she relayed his words, adding that her son asked her why this man wanted to go to prison.

The mother and son, defending themselves from Nili, took cover behind the stroller, while the guy was making “strange movements” and approaching people at a distance of “half a meter,” the lawyers write.

Another witness, driving to work from her school, admitted that as soon as Neely said someone was going to die, she put her hand on a classmate's chest and began to "pray for the doors to open."

And the pensioner, who has been riding the subway for more than three decades, emphasized that she had never been so scared.

“I've been through a lot of situations, but there's nothing that has made me afraid,” she said.

According to witnesses, when Penny grabbed Neely by the neck using a chokehold and knocked the brawler to the floor, the passengers were overcome with a feeling of relief.

“It really looked like a struggle,” one witness confirmed.

“It didn’t look like Daniel Penny was in control of the situation,” the witness said. “They both fought each other very actively.”

Penny, a 24-year-old former infantry squad leader, was charged with second-degree manslaughter and reckless homicide in connection with Neely's death by chokehold.

He remains free on $100 bail, but faces up to 19 years in prison if convicted.

Penny said he had no intention of killing Neely, but felt he had to intervene for the safety of other passengers as the rowdy was throwing rubbish at passengers and threatening them.

In his motion to dismiss the case, Penny's attorney not only sought to prove Neely was dangerous, but also attacked the testimony of Cynthia Harris, the medical examiner who examined Neely's body.

Harris told jurors Neely died from neck compression, which she attributed to a chokehold.

But she did not show how the injuries to Neely's neck proved he died of asphyxiation or that the chokehold cut off the blood supply to the brain or that he was suffocated, they argued.

“Instead, she expressed a general opinion,” the lawyers wrote. “It amounts to speculation.”

The medical examiner could not say the time of death - it remained unclear whether Neely died on the floor of the carriage or in the hospital an hour later.

“In this case, Harris failed to present any evidence or conclusion that the victim died from asphyxia as a result of the chokehold,” defense attorneys argue.

“It only showed that asphyxia can occur as a result of a choke hold. Thus, Harris believed that Mr. Neely died from a chokehold, they noted. “But the medical examiner did not testify that he actually died from asphyxiation, and this can only be explained by the lack of evidence to support such a conclusion.”

Penny's next court hearing is scheduled for October 25.

As ForumDaily New York wrote earlier:

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