Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is raising funds for New York City Marine veteran Daniel Penny, who is facing criminal charges in the death of Jordan Neely, a homeless man who witnessed and -said prosecutors “made threats and intimidated people” on the subway.
Penny, 24, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday and faces charges of second-degree manslaughter after she placed Neely in a fatal chokehold. Defense attorneys argued that Penny acted to protect herself and other passengers who were threatened.
DeSantis on Friday shared a fundraiser for Penny’s legal defense, calling her a “Good Samaritan” and criticizing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as a “pro-criminal” and “Soros-Funded” prosecutor. .
“We must defeat the Soros Funded DAs, stop the Left’s pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets for law abiding citizens. We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show it that Marine … Backed by America,” DeSantis tweeted.
NYC MARINE VETERAN CHARGED IN DEATH OF MAN ‘THREATENED AND INTIMIDATED PASSENGERS’: PROSECUTORS
He tweeted a link to a GiveSendGo page set up by Raiser & Kenniff, PC, the law firm representing Penny.
“Funds are being raised to cover Mr. Penny’s legal fees from any criminal charges filed and any future civil lawsuits that may arise, as well as expenses related to his defense,” reads the description of the fundraiser. “All contributions are greatly appreciated. Any proceeds raised in excess of what is needed to cover Mr. Penny’s legal defense will be donated to a mental health advocacy program in New York City.”
The GiveSendGo campaign has raised $853,213 at press time, with more than 18,000 donors.
MARINE VETERAN SUES MANHATTAN DA IN JORDAN NEELY SUBWAY CHOKEHOLD DEATH
On May 1, Penny, a 24-year-old Marine veteran and college student, put 30-year-old Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold after police described as an altercation on a northbound F train.
Neely allegedly threatened subway passengers and had a mental episode. He was screaming and pacing when Penny intervened, knocking him to the ground and putting him in a chokehold, witnesses and police said.
The city’s medical examiner determined that Neely died from a blow to his neck.
After the incident, Penny’s attorneys said Neely had a documented history of violent and disorderly behavior, which was the apparent result of ongoing and untreated mental illness.
“When Mr. Penny, a decorated Marine veteran, stepped in to protect himself and his fellow New Yorkers, his well-being was not assured,” Penny’s attorney Steve Raiser said. “He risked his own life and safety, for the sake of his fellow passengers. The unfortunate outcome was Mr. Neely’s unexpected and unexpected death. We are confident that once all the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic event, Mr. Penny is completely absolved of any wrongdoing.”
NYC MAYOR ERIC ADAMS SAYS ‘JORDAN NEELY DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE’
Neely’s family responded in a statement issued by Penny’s lawyers, saying it was not an apology or an expression of regret, but a “character assassination and a clear example of why he believed he had the right to take Jordan’s life.”
“In the first paragraph he talks about how ‘good’ he is and the next paragraph he talks about how ‘bad’ Jordan is in an effort to convince us that Jordan’s life is ‘worthless,'” attorneys for the family of Neely that Donte Mills and Lennon Edwards said. “The truth is, he didn’t know anything about Jordan’s history when he deliberately put his arms around Jordan’s neck, and squeezed and continued.”
The attorneys also said in the last paragraph that Penny suggests the public is showing indifference to people like Jordan.
“It’s clear that he acted recklessly, both when he killed Jordan and now in his first public message,” the lawyer said. “He never tried to help her. In short, his actions on the train, and now his words, show why he should be in prison.”
Prosecutors said Penny cooperated fully with police and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
A judge ordered Penny’s release Friday on a $100,000 bond signed by prosecutors and secured by bondsman Ira Judelson.
Penny faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison if convicted. He is scheduled to return to court in July.
Fox News’ Rebecca Rosenberg, Marta Dhanis, Greg Wehner and Laura Ingle contributed to this report.