A 24-year-old US Marine Corps veteran is expected to face manslaughter charges following the death of a homeless man on a New York City subway train.
Manhattan prosecutors said they will file criminal charges against Daniel Penny on Friday after he used a fatal choke to nail Jordan Neely, 30grounded in a railroad car on May 1st.
“We cannot provide further information until he is arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court, which we expect to take place tomorrow,” the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said Thursday.
Mr. Neely, a homeless black man, had screamed and begged for money but did not physically assault anyone before being restrained and put in a chokehold that lasted several minutes, witnesses said.
Mr Neely was found unconscious by police after the train had stopped and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
He died of neck compression, the city coroner ruled.
Penny, who is white, was questioned by police in the hours following Mr. Neely’s death but was released without charge.
He is expected to be charged with second-degree manslaughter when he is due to appear later in Manhattan criminal court.
His lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment but earlier said their client, along with two other passengers who also detained Mr Neely, had been acting in self-defense.
“Daniel never intended to harm Mr. Neely and could not have foreseen his untimely death,” they said in a statement.
A former subway performer best known for his Michael Jackson impressions, Mr. Neely has struggled with homelessness and worsening mental illness in recent years, friends said.
He had been arrested multiple times and recently pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman in 2021 as she exited a subway station.
After pleading guilty, he missed a court date, leading to an arrest warrant that was still active at the time of his death.
Neely’s death has sparked protests and intense debate, with some placing the blame on racism and others criticizing the city’s response to mental illness and homelessness.
Read more stories about the United States:
Donald Trump calls sex accuser a ‘crazy job’
Heather Armstrong, the “queen of blogger mummies”, dies.
Dave Giffen, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless, blamed city and state officials for an inadequate response to the mental health crisis.
While others, including Mayor Eric Adams, have urged New Yorkers to wait for the full facts and investigation, noting that not much is yet known about what precipitated the choke.