Daniel Penny, a Marine veteran charged in the death of a Black man he put in a chokehold on the New York City subway, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide during a court appearance Wednesday.
Penny, 24, was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month in the death of 30-year-old Jordan Neely on May 1.
He only spoke to say “not guilty” when asked how he had pleaded during the hearing, which lasted less than five minutes.
He is due back in court on October 25.
Penny surrendered to police in May and has been out on a $100,000 bond. The bail conditions were unchanged during Wednesday’s hearing.
Penny, who is White, confronted Neely on a subway train after Neely began shouting at passengers that he was hungry and thirsty and didn’t care whether he died. Penny forced Neely to the train floor and put him in a chokehold until he stopped breathing. A medical examiner ruled Neely’s death a homicide.
The incident was partially captured on video that was posted online and sparked demonstrations calling for justice in the case.
Penny’s actions were “fully justified,” his attorneys said in a statement after his indictment.
“While we respect the decision of the grand jury to move this case forward to trial, it should be noted that the standard of proof in a grand jury is very low and there has been no finding of wrongdoing,” attorneys Steven Raiser and Thomas Kenniff said in the statement.