According to a motion filed by prosecutors, the grand jury has found evidence that suggests Jordan Neely was transitioning from life to death while being held in a chokehold by the defendant.
Penny’s attorneys filed a motion seeking the dismissal of the case, citing witness testimony claiming that Kevin Neely had been lunging at subway riders at the time of his death. In response, the prosecution provided a timeline of events leading up to the 30-year-old man’s death. This filing is a crucial development in the case.
In the court filing, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass highlighted the discrepancies in witness accounts, which weakened the defense’s argument of widespread panic on the subway during the incident. According to the prosecution filing, some witnesses expressed fear towards Neely, while others had a different perspective. One witness described the moment as a typical day in New York and stated that they were accustomed to seeing such events. The filing further emphasizes that none of the witnesses reported any physical contact by Neely before Penny approached him from behind.
According to Steinglass’s filing, numerous witnesses reported that Mr. Neely had expressed his homelessness, hunger, and thirst. Additionally, most witnesses stated that Mr. Neely had expressed his readiness to go to jail or prison.
The prosecutor described Mr. Neely’s actions as “twitching and agonal movements, similar to those seen near death.”
According to Steinglass, an eyewitness captured a video of the incident and can be heard urging the defendant to release Mr. Neely. The eyewitness also warned the defendant that if he didn’t let go, he would end up killing him. Steinglass expressed his belief that the hold was completely unnecessary at that point. As previously reported by CNN, Penny has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
According to the defense team, Penny did not have any intention of killing Neely. However, the prosecution argues that second-degree manslaughter only requires proving that Penny acted recklessly, not intentionally. When questioned about the incident, Penny’s defense lawyer Thomas Kenniff stated that the method used to restrain Neely was not a chokehold and did not entail ongoing pressure to the neck.
In a statement to CNN on Thursday, Kenniff pointed out that the prosecution failed to acknowledge the accounts of several eyewitnesses who witnessed Neely’s violent resistance during the attempt to restrain him.
According to earlier reports by CNN, Penny informed the police that Neely was behaving in an agitated manner, which led him to apply a chokehold to restrain him.
Demonstrations swept across New York City after a video capturing the incident between Neely, a Black man, and Penny, a White woman, went viral. According to the prosecution’s filing, the idea that death is not a foreseeable consequence of applying pressure to someone’s neck for six minutes is completely unacceptable.
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