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Daley’s nephew Vanecko pleads guilty in Koschman’s death

Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley‘s nephew, Richard J. Vanecko, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of 21-year-old David Koschman.

He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 60 days of house arrest and 30 months probation. He also agreed to pay Nanci Koschman $20,000 to cover her expenses.

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Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

Lawyers for former Chicago mayor Richard Daley’s nephew, Richard Vanecko, are trying to get the wrongful death lawsuit against him dropped.

Koschman’s mother filed a lawsuit claiming that Vanecko, police officers, and prosecutors tampered with the case.  Vanecko’s lawyers filed an eleven page motion to get the suit dismissed.

They argue the statute of limitations expired because a wrongful death lawsuit needed to be filed two years within Koschman’s death.

But Koschman’s lawyers could argue that the statute of limitations has not passed because police officers allegedly conspired to cover up wrong doing more recently.

A nephew of former mayor Richard Daley walked out of jail this afternoon after serving a 60 day sentence.

39-year-old RJ Vanecko spent two months at the McHenry County courthouse after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of 21-year-old David Koschman.

Vanecko left jail around 5 p.m. and got into a black SUV which was driven to Chicago’s West Loop. An adult probation officer is outfitting him and an apartment with the electronics needed to keep track of him the next 60 days of his home confinement.

The mother of a man killed by a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley is suing law enforcement officials and several others connected to the case.

David Koschman died in 2004 after being punched during a confrontation near a Division Street bar.

Richard Vanecko pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter earlier this year and is now serving a 60-day jail sentence.

A Chicago Sun-Times investigation revealed officers may have been involved in hiding facts and creating phony evidence to cover up Vanecko’s reponsibility in Koschman’s death.

Vanecko, the City of Chicago, former Police Superintendent Phil Cline, Cook County, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, and more than a dozen police officers are also named in the case.

Lawyers for the Koschman family say they plan to question members of the Daley family.




Special Prosecutor Dan Webb’s file on the David Koschman case is in the hands of the FBI.

The Sun-Times obtained a court document in which Webb says he turned over all his evidence on the case to the feds in June.

Last month R.J. Vanecko, a nephew of former Mayor Rich Daley, plead guilty to throwing the punch that led to Koschman’s death in 2004.

He is serving 60 days in jail for involuntary manslaughter.

In his report, Webb said he was unable to charge police and state’s attorneys despite evidence they botched the Koschman investigation, including losing case files and fabricating a defense for Vanecko.

But Webb indicates some of the officers may be under investigation by the FBI for similar conduct in other cases.

Richard-vanecko mug david-koschman new

Former Mayor Richard Daley’s nephew, Richard Vanecko, began serving his 60-day jail sentence Friday in McHenry County.

His confinement in McHenry is a result of the political implications of his case.

Vanecko pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of David Koschman on Division Street.

The 39-year old Vanecko will serve another 60 days of home confinement, followed by two-and-a-half years of probation.

He will also pay $20,000 in restitution to Koschman’s estate, and issue a formal apology.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb today released his report in the long-running case involving former Mayor Richard Daley’s nephew, Richard Vanecko, saying the mayor did not try to influence the case.

The report was made public at 9 a.m.

READ HERE: The Death of David Koschman – Report of the Special Prosecutor

Vanecko, 39, pled guilty Friday to involuntary manslaughter, for throwing the punch that ultimately killed David Koschman outside a tavern on Division Street in 2004.

He was was sentenced to 60 days in jail, followed by 60 days of home confinement and then 2 1/2 years of probation.


In his report, special prosecutor Webb concluded that former mayor Daley, his family and members of his administration did not try to influence the investigation into Koschman’s death.

The report stated that Daley told investigators he’d “made it clear to his staff and the public that because he was Vanecko’s uncle, he had recused himself from any involvement in the Koschman matter.”

But at a news conference held after the release of the report attorney Flint Taylor, one of the lawyers representing the Koschman family, told reporters:  “In this city, then and now, you don’t need a phone call, you don’t need a memo.  When it’s Daley, it’s ‘Holy crap, what do we do?’”

The special prosecutor said he found “limited evidence” of a possible effort by Chicago police commanders to “manufacture a phony self-defense” ruling in Koschman’s death when the case was re-investigated in 2011. The report cited evidence that last-minute corrections were made to a report that determined Koschman was the aggressor in the altercation.

“The earlier draft made no mention of self-defense, while the later draft concluded that Vanecko had acted in self-defense,” the report stated. The prosecutor also obtained emails in which Deputy Chief Dean Andrews and Sgt. Sam Cirone discussed “corrections” to the self-defense claim, according to the report.

“Under these circumstances, the public could well conclude that the entire claim of self-defense came not from Vanecko, but, rather, was conjured up in the minds of law enforcement,” said the conclusion of the report. “A discerning citizen could well surmise that it simply is an argument made of whole cloth. Whether Vanecko may, in fact, have a valid claim of self-defense should properly be for him to raise, not the police.”

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

RAW: Koschman attorneys react to special report

A decade ago 21- year old David Koschman lost his life, on Friday 39- year old Richard “R.J.” Vanecko, the man responsible for throwing the fatal punch, plead guilty and told his mother, “I’m sorry.”

Nanci Koschman called her son the “light of her eyes” saying the pain of his loss will never go away.

In court Friday, Vanecko admitted to punching Koschman after a drunken altercation on Division Street in April of 2004. The Mount Prospect man fell, hit his head and later died from the injury.

chi-richard-vanecko-david-koschman-20140131Vanecko was questioned by police but never charged. In 2011 the case was reopened, but Chicago police decided Vanecko acted in self-defense against the much smaller Koschman. However Vanecko was indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges in 2012, after special prosecutor Dan Webb brought the case to a grand jury.

Vanecko was silent after court. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 60 days of house arrest and 30 months probation. He also agreed to pay Nanci Koschman $20,000 to cover her expenses.

But Nanci Koschman says Vanecko’s apology, is all that truly matters. The still mourning mom plans to visit her son’s grave to deliver a bittersweet message.

A special prosecutor released new information about the Richard Vanecko trial.

Vanecko is charged with involuntary manslaughter for the 2004 death of David Koschman.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, prosecutor Dan Webb says Vanecko had been drinking for eight hours, before he punched Koschman during a fight on Division street.

Koschman fell, hit his head, and died about two weeks later.

Vanecko is the nephew of former mayor Richard Daley.

Webb says police and prosecutors have no notes from their interviews with Vanecko’s friends, from May 2004.

He also says Vanecko and his friends talked on the phone several times after Koschman was punched and during the investigation.

Attorneys representing the nephew of former Mayor Richard Daley want a judge to keep one of Cook County’s top prosecutors from testifying in the case.

Richard Vanecko is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of David Koschman, who died in 2004, after they got into a fight outside a bar on Rush St.

The Sun-Times reports Thomas Epach Jr., an attorney who worked for the Chicago Police Department at the time, publicly stated he wants someone charged in Koschman’s death.

Vanecko’s trial is set to start in February.