Motion to dismiss Daniel Penny in NYC subway chokehold death denied

A judge denied Daniel Penny's request to dismiss the charges against him in the 2023 NYC subway chokehold death. 

Penny, a 24-year-old U.S. Marine veteran, pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the death of Jordan Neely, a former Michael Jackson impersonator on May 1, 2023.

Former US Marine Daniel Penny arrives at Manhattan criminal court Wednesday.

"This was a win today, a big win," Attorney Donte Mills said outside the courtroom Wednesday alongside Neely’s father, Andre Zachary.

The judge is expected to rule on a search warrant motion in the next few weeks. 

Penny's lawyer claims synthetic marijuana was found in Neely's blood and the defense wants the blood retested to find the exact quantity found in his system. 

"They're looking for an excuse," Mills said when asked about the claims. 

Penny is expected back in court March 20. 

The trial is expected to begin some time in the fall of 2024. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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Jordan Neely, a former performer, was shouting and begging for money on the Manhattan train, according to witnesses.

Penny’s defense team argues he was defending himself, and others, when he put Neely in a fatal chokehold.

Video of the incident showed Penny trying to subdue Neely by placing him in a chokehold. 

Neely struggled in the chokehold for several minutes, after which he was transported to Lenox Hill Hospital and pronounced dead.

Daniel Penny, seen on the subway in bystander video of the altercation. (Luces de Nueva York/Juan Alberto Vazquez via Storyful)

The dramatic scene caused fierce debate, and a divide between those who believed Penny acted heroically and others who believed he showed excessive force.

Penny told authorities that Neely was harassing and threatening passengers and that he acted to protect himself and others.

Family members say Neely was homeless and struggled with mental health issues.

The controversial incident sparked outrage and heightened political divisiveness across the city.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.