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NEW YORK — A U.S. Marine veteran who used a fatal chokehold on an agitated New York City subway passenger was freed from custody Friday hours after surrendering on a manslaughter charge.

Daniel Penny, 24, appeared in court hours after turning himself in at a police station after prosecutors said they were charging him in the May 1 death of Jordan Neely. He did not enter a plea. Prosecutors said they are seeking a grand jury indictment.

A judge authorized Penny’s release on bond following a brief arraignment. A judge ordered him to surrender his passport and not to leave New York without approval.

Neely’s death sparked protests, while others embraced Penny as a vigilante hero.

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Penny’s lawyers have said he was acting in self-defense when he pinned Neely to the floor of the subway car with the help of two other passengers and held him in a chokehold for several minutes.

Donte Mills, a lawyer for Neely’s family, said Neely wasn’t harming anyone and didn’t deserve to die.


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