NEW YORK (AP) — A man who kept a chokehold around the neck of an agitated fellow passenger on a New York City subway, leading to the other rider’s death, turned himself in to authorities Friday on a manslaughter charge that could send him to prison for 15 years.
Penny turned himself in at a Manhattan police station Friday morning.
Neely’s death, captured on video by a freelance journalist, has raised an uproar over many issues, including how those with mental illness are treated by the transit system and the city, as well as crime and vigilantism.
Penny’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment after the prosecutors made their announcement Thursday. They have previously said Penny acted in self-defense.
According to an onlooker, Neely, who is Black, had been screaming and begging for money aboard the train, but had not gotten physical with anyone.
Penny, who is white, was questioned by police in the aftermath, but was released without charges.
Friends of Neely said the former subway performer had been dealing with homelessness and mental illness in recent years. He had several arrests to his name, including a 2021 assault of a 67-year-old woman leaving a subway station.
A second-degree manslaughter charge in New York will require the jury to find that a person has engaged in reckless conduct that creates an unjustifiable risk of death, and then consciously disregards that risk.
The law also requires that conduct to be a gross deviation from how a reasonable person would act in a similar situation.