Daley nephew's manslaughter trial could start next year

Updated 5/15/2013 5:39 AM
  • Richard Vanecko

    Richard Vanecko

  • David Koschman

    David Koschman

McHenry County Judge Maureen McIntyre told attorneys Tuesday to "keep January and February open," but otherwise gave no indication of when the involuntary manslaughter trial could begin for Richard Vanecko, nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

The charges stem from an altercation between Vanecko and Mount Prospect resident David Koschman outside a Chicago bar during the early morning hours of April 25, 2004.

Authorities say Vanecko, 38, punched the Harper College student in the face. Koschman, 21, fell to the ground, hitting his head. He died of injuries to his brain 11 days later.

Two police investigations ensued, but authorities never filed charges against Vanecko.

Koschman family members say the defendant's relationship to Daley compromised the investigation, which they claim involved police cover-ups.

In April 2012, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin ordered special prosecutor Dan K. Webb to look into Koschman's death. In December, a Cook County grand jury indicted Vanecko, who now lives in California and is currently free on a $100,000 bond.

The Illinois Supreme Court assigned the case to McIntyre after Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans requested a judge outside Cook County be assigned the case to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

"It's time to move forward for all people concerned," said McIntyre, who asked prosecutor Stephen Senderowitz when the state would turn over to Vanecko's attorneys the remainder of the voluminous discovery, previously estimated at more than 250,000 pages.

July, said Senderowitz, who informed the court that the remaining information "relates to an ongoing grand jury investigation" into how authorities investigated Koschman's death. That inquiry should conclude in July, Senderowitz said.

Vanecko's attorney Marc Martin requested 60 days to review the material and indicated he would likely file pretrial motions early next year.

If convicted, Vanecko could face from two to five years in prison. Probation is also an option.

He next appears in court on Sept. 24.

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