An online fundraiser has amassed over $2 million for the legal defense of former Marine Daniel Penny, who was charged with manslaughter after the chokehold death of NYC homeless man Jordan Neely.
As described on a “GiveSendGo” page titled “Daniel Penny’s Legal Defense Fund,” the funds are to be used for legal fees “from any criminal charges filed, as well as any future civil lawsuits.”
“Daniel Penny is, a twenty-four-year-old college student and decorated Marine veteran, facing a criminal investigation stemming from him protecting individuals on a NYC subway train from an assailant who later died,” the fundraiser states. “Funds are being raised to pay Mr. Penny’s legal fees incurred from any criminal charges filed and any future civil lawsuits that may arise, as well as expenses related to his defense. All contributions are greatly appreciated. Any proceeds collected which exceed those necessary to cover Mr. Penny’s legal defense will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York City.”
Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office last week over the death of 30-year-old Neely, who reportedly struggled with homelessness and mental illness. Subway passengers tackled Neely after he shouted at them and Penny put him in a chokehold. During the chokehold, Neely lost consciousness and was later pronounced dead.
According to Penny’s attorneys, the former Marine never intended to harm Neely and only acted to protect himself and other subway passengers.
Neely’s death was ruled to be caused by compression of the neck, but the legal system will determine any criminal responsibility.
Penny turned himself into authorities on Friday to face a second-degree manslaughter charge. According to Neely’s family, Penny “needs to be in prison.” If found guilty, Penny could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.