The Marine who was filmed putting mentally ill homeless man Jordan Neely in a fatal chokehold on a subway has lawyered up — hiring Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s former rival to represent him, The Post has learned.
The straphanger, whose name hasn’t been released publicly, retained criminal defense attorney Thomas Kenniff — potentially setting up another showdown with Bragg should the DA’s office bring charges in Neely’s death.
Kenniff, a Republican, notably lost out to Bragg, his Democrat counterpart, in the race for Manhattan DA in 2021.
The Iraq War veteran and major in the Army National Guard — a former Westchester prosecutor and founding partner of Raiser & Kenniff — didn’t want to comment on his new client on Thursday.
His client — identified by police sources as a 24-year-old from Queens — was taken into custody after Monday’s deadly encounter but was released without charges.
The DA’s office, as part of its probe, is now weighing whether to bring criminal charges against him over Neely’s death, which has been ruled a homicide.
A spokesman for Bragg confirmed the probe was ongoing Thursday.
“As part of our rigorous ongoing investigation, we will review the Medical Examiner’s report, assess all available video and photo footage, identify and interview as many witnesses as possible, and obtain additional medical records,” the rep said in a Wednesday evening statement.
The spokesperson added that the office will provide an update “when there is additional public information to share.”
NYC subway choking victim Jordan Neely: What we know
When: May 1, 2023
Who: Jordan Neely, 30, a homeless man was fatally strangled aboard a northbound F train just before 2:30 p.m., according to police.
He reportedly started acting erratically on the train and harassing other passengers before being restrained and ultimately choked by a straphanger, identified as a 24-year-old marine from Queens.
The marine, who was seen on video applying the chokehold, was taken into custody and later released but the DA is mulling charges, which could include involuntary manslaughter, according to experts.
Fallout: The city medical examiner ruled Neely’s death a homicide, noting he died due to “compression of neck (chokehold).” This will be weighed during the investigation into whether charges will be brought for Neely’s death.
Neely’s aunt told The Post that he became a “complete mess” following the brutal murder of his mother in 2007. She noted he was schizophrenic while suffering from PTSD and depression.
“The whole system just failed him. He fell through the cracks of the system,” Carolyn Neely said.
Law enforcement sources said Neely had “numerous” arrests on his record, including for drugs, disorderly conduct, and fare beating.
At the time of his death, Neely had a warrant out for his arrest for a November 2021 case where he was accused of assaulting a 67-year-old woman in the East Village, the sources said.
Mayor Eric Adams has said it’s important for the DA to complete the investigation into Neely’s death and not rush to conclusions.
The Marine was filmed putting Neely in a chokehold on an F train in lower Manhattan after witnesses said the deranged 30-year-old went on an aggressive rant.
A witness who filmed the encounter told The Post Neely had yelling at passengers and throwing garbage around in the moments before the Marine took him down.
Cops said Neely passed out after being held in the chokehold and EMS were unable to revive him when they arrived. He was brought to Lenox Health Greenwich Village, where he died.
Additional reporting by Jack Morphet
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