Story Summary

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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This story has 10 updates
Local News
09/24/13

Trial set for Daley’s nephew

The nephew of former Mayor Daley will go to trial for the death of David Koschman’s next February, a judge ruled today.

A judge has set a trial date for February 18th.

Richard  Vanecko, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Koschman.

Vanecko was apparently part of a drunken brawl on Rush Street eight years ago that included Koschman. During the altercation, Koschman was knocked to the street, hitting the back of his head. He died 11 days later.

A judge also set the deadline for pre-trial motions to be filed by November 25th and a pre-trial hearing for January 9th.

The Chicago Police Dept and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office won’t face charges for the way they investigated David Koschman’s death.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb announced today a grand jury is done looking at both offices.

Judge steps aside in case involving Daley nephew The grand jury determined the time frame to bring counts has expired. It also found there isn’t enough evidence to go after the police department for any possible wrongdoing in 2011.

But, Richard Vanecko, nephew of former mayor Richard Daley, remains charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Vanecko’s accused of fatally punching Koschman in the spring of 2004 in the Rush St nightlife district.

Webb`s 162 page report will remain sealed until Vanecko’s trial is over.

A trial date isn’t yet set.

A Cook County judge cited a missing files syndrome when he appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the 2004 death of David Koschman.

Police records on the case disappeared, and then re-appeared at a North Side police station.

A newly-released memo states the files weren’t lost or misplaced, someone took them without permission.

An internal affairs report says Lieutenant Denis Walsh searched the sergeants’ office at Belmont and Western several times over six months, beginning in January of 2011.

One evening in June, he found the records on the top shelf of a file cabinet in that office.

In the files, was a handwritten note that said “V Dailey Sister Son”.

Walsh writes in a memo to the commander of the detective’s division, which the Sun-Times obtained: “The file which was believed to have been lost was obviously not lost, but had been removed and returned in violation of department rules and regulations”.

The former mayor’s nephew, Richard Vanecko, is accused of throwing a punch that killed David Koschman during a drunken brawl outside a downtown bar.

The 21-year-old Mount Prospect man fell, hit his head and died 11 days later.

Police never questioned Vanecko, case files vanished and prosecutors did not file charges- believing Vanecko acted in self-defense.

The judge, who appointed special prosecutor Dan Webb, called that theory “fiction”.

This past December, a grand jury indicted Vanecko on an involuntary manslaughter charge.

It’s still investigating whether there was a cover-up because of his family ties.

Vanecko is free on bond.

His attorneys maintain David Koschman was the aggressor in the fight.

Police internal affairs could not determine who removed the files or who returned them.

A McHenry County judge was brought in to preside over Richard Vanecko’s trial.

No trial date is set.

Local News
03/25/13

Files on Koschman death vanish, reappear

A new mystery is clouding the investigation into a deadly fight involving former Mayor Richard Daley’s nephew.

R.J. Vanecko is facing an involuntary manslaughter charge for throwing the punch that killed David Koschman outside a night club on Division St. 2004.

But now the Chicago Sun-Times reports, some critical files on the Vanecko case were removed from Chicago Police Department records for six months in 2011; then they mysteriously reappeared.

Investigators don’t know who took the files out, or why, or who put them back.

The judge who will hear the manslaughter trial of Richard M. Daley’s nephew, has ties to the Daley family.

Richard Vanecko is accused of throwing the punch that killed david koschman outside a division street tavern in 2004.

The case was reassigned to McHenry County Kudge Maureen McIntyre.

But the Sun-Times reports, McIntyre’s live-in ex-husband, Raymond Henehan, once held a political patronage job during the administration of mayor Richard J. Daley.

It’s not clear whether that connection is strong enough to disqualify judge McIntyre from the Vanecko trial.

The special prosecutor pursuing the manslaughter case against Richard Daley’s nephew has agreed to work for free.

Dan Webb will press for the conviction of Richard Vanecko in connection with a street fight in 2004 that killed David Koschman outside a Division Street night club.

Vanecko is charged with involuntary manslaughter for throwing the punch that killed Koschman.

With Webb working pro-bono, Cook County taxpayers will only have to pay for the court expenses for the trial.

McHenry County Judge Maureen P. McIntyre was selected to preside over Richard Vanecko’s involuntary manslaughter trial.

Vanecko is former Mayor Daley’s nephew. He’s charged with punching David Koschman back in April 2004. Koschman fell to the street, hit his head head and died several days later.

McHenry County Chief Judge Michael J. Sullivan was asked to pick someone to oversee the trial because a Cook County judge had to recuse himself. He announced appointment of McIntyre in a one-page order released Friday afternoon.

McIntyre is currently the presiding judge of the court’s Family Division, hearing mostly cases of juvenile abuse and neglect, delinquency, and adoption. She was retained by voters in November to a six-year term. She has been on the bench in McHenry County since 1996.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

A judge in McHenry County will preside over the manslaughter trial of former Mayor Richard Daley’s nephew.

Richard Vanecko is accused of delivering a punch that killed of David Koschman in 2004.

On Friday, the Illinois Supreme Court  assigned the Chief Judge of McHenry County Circuit Court to appoint a judge to preside over the high-profile trial.

A Cook County judge who was randomly assigned the case recently had links to Daley and withdrew. This prompted county judicial officials to ask the Supreme Court to find a judge from another county to handle the proceeding.

The special prosecutor in the case of Richard Vanecko, the nephew of former Mayor Richard Daley, is asking that a judge from outside Cook County be assigned to the case to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Cook County Judge Arthur Hill has recused himself from the case, despite saying both this week and last that he could be fair and impartial.

Vanecko was back in court today, after having a week to consider, along with attorneys from both sides, whether or not to request a new judge after Hill revealed he was a prosecutor under Vanecko’s uncle and that Daley later appointed him to the CTA Board.

When Hill withdrew the case went back to Judge Michael Toomin, who decided he would refer the case to Chief Judge Timothy Evans.  Evans will take the matter to the Illinois Supreme Court.  The judge invoked the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who said the appearance of justice is as important as its reality.

RichardVaneckoVanecko has been indicted and is free on a $100,000 bond for the death of David Koschman, 21, who died days after a drunken fight near Rush Street in 2004.

Police at the time said Koschman was the aggressor and closed the case.  But about 100 pounds and nearly a foot in height separated the two, in Vanecko’s favor.

Vanecko’s attorneys are not happy with today’s decision, but they say he will be vindicated either way.

“I’m really outraged by the fact that because some newspaper reporters think that Cook County judges can’t be fair, that this case has to be reassigned,” defense attorney Marc Martin told reporters today.  “I have absolutely no reason to doubt the integrity of the Cook County judiciary.  It is really disheartening that these perceptions exist.”

Vanecko’s next court date will depend on the state Supreme Court and the reassignment of a judge to the case.

Vanecko, a resident of California, requested that he be allowed to travel within the lower 48 states.  That request was granted.

Vanecko has pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter.

The special prosecutor in the case of Richard Vanecko, the nephew of former Mayor Richard Daley, is asking that a judge from outside Cook County be assigned to the case to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Cook County Judge Arthur Hill has recused himself from the case, despite saying both this week and last that he could be fair and impartial.

Vanecko was back in court today, after having a week to consider, along with attorneys from both sides, whether or not to request a new judge after Hill revealed he was a prosecutor under Vanecko’s uncle and that Daley later appointed him to the CTA Board.

When Hill withdrew the case went back to Judge Michael Toomin, who decided he would refer the case to Chief Judge Timothy Evans.  Evans will take the matter to the Illinois Supreme Court.  The judge invoked the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who said the appearance of justice is as important as its reality.

Vanecko has been indicted and is free on a $100,000 bond for the death of David Koschman, 21, who died days after a drunken fight near Rush Street in 2004.

Police at the time said Koschman was the aggressor and closed the case.  But about 100 pounds and nearly a foot in height separated the two, in Vanecko’s favor.

Vanecko’s attorneys are not happy with today’s decision, but they say he will be vindicated either way.

“I’m really outraged by the fact that because some newspaper reporters think that Cook County judges can’t be fair, that this case has to be reassigned,” defense attorney Marc Martin told reporters today.  “I have absolutely no reason to doubt the integrity of the Cook County judiciary.  It is really disheartening that these perceptions exist.”

Vanecko’s next court date will depend on the state Supreme Court and the reassignment of a judge to the case.

Vanecko, a resident of California, requested that he be allowed to travel within the lower 48 states.  That request was granted.

Vanecko has pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter.

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