The attorney for the former Marine who has been charged in the killing of a homeless man on a New York City subway said he expects that the man’s autopsy “will be revealing” for the situation.
Thomas Kenniff, who is representing 24-year-old Daniel Penny, told radio talk show hosts John Catsimatidis and Rita Cosby on WABC’s “Cats & Cosby” on Friday that he has not yet obtained a copy of the autopsy performed on Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old subway performer who died after Penny placed him in a chokehold.
Neely lost consciousness while in the chokehold and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Almost two weeks after the incident, Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter in relation to Neely’s death. An autopsy from a medical examiner’s office found that Neely died by homicide from compression of the neck.
“Our understanding is that there is an autopsy out there. We obviously need to get our hands on it,” Kenniff said. “But I expect that it will be revealing.”
He added that what happened is a “tragic situation,” but he believes Penny will be absolved of any guilt once the investigative process plays out.
“Any time there is a loss of human life, we all feel that pain,” Kenniff said. “And there’s going to be passions on both sides, but we’re going to follow the evidence and follow the facts, and there is very little doubt in my mind that when everything is fleshed out, comes to light, that my client Daniel Penny will be absolved of any wrongdoing here.”
Penny was released on $100,000 bond and ordered to surrender his passport. He is due back in court on July 17.
Penny and his attorneys have argued that the former Marine was acting in his own self-defense and that of the other travelers, while attorneys for Neely’s family have said the victim was not harming anyone when he was pinned.
A freelance journalist who recorded the incident has said Neely was shouting at passengers and begging for money but was not physically attacking anyone.
Neely had a history of mental illness. His killing has spurred protests on how mental illness is treated and race relations as Neely was Black and Penny is white.