Jordan Neely’s uncle freed without bail in New York credit card theft arrest
An uncle of subway strangulation victim Jordan Neely, who was arrested for stealing credit cards, was released on Wednesday after his lawyer said he had been a ‘rock’ to his family in grief.
Manhattan prosecutors have sought to hold Christopher Neely, 44, on $10,000 bail because he is currently serving five years of probation on a 2019 grand theft conviction and because of his criminal record, which includes four felonies , eight misdemeanors and seven failures to appear in search.
He also had a warrant out for his probation violation when he was arrested Monday night near the Port Authority bus station, Assistant District Attorney Evan Rufrano said during the arraignment of Neely by Manhattan Criminal Court.
But Neely’s public defender Gurmeet Singh argued his client had been a father figure to his late nephew – and that Jordan’s death on May 1 after ex-Marine Daniel Penny strangled him did pay a heavy price to the family.
“I don’t think it’s a secret…the family and Mr. Christopher Neely are going through a very, very difficult time in their lives,” Singh, of the Harlem Neighborhood Defender Service, told the court. “It was a very difficult experience for the family, a very painful experience. Christopher Neely has been a rock to the family and takes care of them.
He had planned to turn himself in on May 8 on the probation case, Singh said. But Jordan’s death torpedoed that, he claimed.
Neely – described by his lawyer as a married professional chess player from Harlem – was released on probation. He is due back in court on May 26.
Prosecutors said Neely had been arrested 20 times since June 2022, while on probation, for robbery or criminal possession of stolen property for allegedly stealing people’s bags and wallets and then using their credit cards. credit.
Rufrano said the prosecutor’s office was moving forward with the prosecution of three of the incidents – hitting Neely with a total of 12 counts of fourth-degree grand larceny and one count of resisting arrest – while the other cases require further investigation.
According to one of the criminal complaints against him, Neely allegedly used a woman’s stolen American Express and Capitol One cards in late January to buy wine at Morton Williams Wine & Spirits on Park Avenue. Investigators obtained surveillance footage from the store and say Neely was the one at the counter.
Another time, in late April, Neely allegedly attempted to use a woman’s stolen American Express in Macy’s on West 34th Street, according to the complaint. Surveillance footage from the store also linked Neely to the crime, according to the complaint.
When he was arrested, Neely had seven credit cards with different names on him, Rufrano said.
Police caught him near the bus terminal after he tried to flee from a member of the NYPD pickpocketing squad.
He previously had a warrant for allegedly violating his probation after a major robbery in 2019 landed him in jail for six months.
During his five years on probation, Neely failed to report four times and changed addresses without telling his probation officer, prosecutors said.
After the hearing, Neely told the Post that he was sorry for committing so many crimes.
When asked if he plans to change his ways, he nodded.
On Sunday, Neely — who has been the family’s spokesperson since Jordan’s death — told the Post he doesn’t believe Daniel Penny, the former Marine infantry squad leader who allegedly strangled his nephew. after a confrontation on the subway, deserved a plea deal.
Penny, 24, has been charged with manslaughter and remains free on $100,000 bond.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg now has six months to secure an indictment against him before the case goes to trial, Penny’s attorneys said.
New York Post